Lake George Marathon Swim

There will not be an organized Lake George Marathon Swim in 2017. If you or your team wants advice and support for a swim we will try to help. Contact Bob Singer at”

September 17-18, 2016

USMS Sanction #036-W001

This swim will serve to highlight Lake George and the history of Lake George marathon swimming. The 32-mile swim commemorates Diane Struble, the first person to swim the length, in 1958, and all those who swim in her wake. Since 1958, only six other solo swimmers and one relay have accomplished this feat. We expect to more than double that historical count in one day!

Registration is closed for the 2016 swim with 14 individual swimmers and 14 relay teams. You may still participate as a Volunteer, so please complete a Volunteer Registration Form.

Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin… finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves… down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony.
— Thomas Jefferson, May 31, 1791



  • Pod Assignments and Start times are available here: (PDF | XLS)
  • The recording from the 8/16/16 conference call is available here.
  • Participant Briefing for August 16, 2016 Call (PDF)
  • Notes from the July 14 Conference call are available here.
  • Notes from the May 9 Conference Call are available here.
  • The Participants’ Guide is available for download here. This comprehensive guide is intended to answer many questions and is the place to learn the rules, safety plans, and emergency procedures. It also provides information about Lake George and event logistics, as well as the fun events planned for the day before the event.
  • The mandatory quiz for all participants (swimmers, Boat Captains, Observers, and Kayakers) is available here and is described in the Participants’ Guide.
  • Fundraising for individual swimmers and relay teams is set up on
  • Click Here for details of the pre-swim Dinner Cruise.
  • We are pleased to announce that Olympian and World Champion open water swimmer Alex Meyer is joining our management team as Co-Chair of the Lake George Marathon Swim. Read more about Alex here. Alex’s participation will give us unprecedented access to advice and counsel from the top open water swimmer in the country, and we get to hang out with him and swap stories when we get together in September.
  • Our list of individual swimmers and relays is available here.

Adirondack Cardiology logo           SnugHarbor.1000px               Hammer color

Event Details

Event Details

See Participants’ Guide here.

Start: 3 PM, September 17, 2016

Cut-off for Finish: 5 PM, Sunday September 18

Swimmers who have not completed the swim by the Cut-off Finish time will be picked up by a boat. All swimmers must agree to this cut-off time before entering the event.

Course: The course will be from the north end of Lake George, at “Diane’s Rock,” a memorial to Diane Struble about 100 yards from the Snug Harbor Marina in Ticonderoga, to the public docks in Lake George Village (see map). Solo swimmers and the first swimmers of the relay teams will enter the water at the Snug Harbor marina and swim to Diane’s Rock in waves or “pods” of 5-6 swimmers. They will be escorted only by their kayaks the first half mile, until they will be joined by their escort powerboats after the narrow channel widens out. Kayaks and escort powerboats will navigate the 32 miles to the public docks in Lake George Village (see map).

Diane Struble, 1958. Role model and inspiration (courtesy Gwenne Rippon, daughter of Ms. Struble)

Diane Struble, 1958. Role model and inspiration (courtesy Gwenne Rippon, daughter of Ms. Struble)

Cancellation: At the discretion of either the Event Director, Referee, the Safety Director, or the Independent Safety Monitor, the Lake George Marathon Swim may be cancelled before the swim or at any time during the swim. The start may be delayed to allow for weather to pass or for equipment problems. A delay of the start may result in shortening the time until the cut-off for finish, at the discretion of the Event Director, Safety Director, or Independent Safety Monitor. Reimbursement of entry fees will not be available.

Weather: Lake George is known for quick changes in weather. The mountains that ring the Lake make it difficult to see weather coming. Air temperatures could be in the 30’s at night but more likely in the low 50’s, with daytime temperatures reaching anywhere from the 40’s to 70’s. Water temperature will probably be 66-72F. The intended course, from north to south, will be reversed if winds over 15 MPH are forecast from the south.

Kayaks: Each swimmer will be escorted by one kayak. Relief kayakers will be in the escort powerboats or will be picked up on shore if prior arrangements are made by the powerboat captain. All kayaks will be fitted with lights for night. Swimmers are encouraged to recruit their own kayakers and Observers, but limited numbers of local volunteers will be available. Kayakers are advised that the kayaker should be doing the navigating, not the swimmer. Swimmers will maintain a position with the kayaker’s body about even with the swimmer’s head, and about 10-15 feet away. The kayaker can “turn” the swimmer by steering toward or away from the swimmer. Kayakers need to meet with the swimmers to agree on feeding plans. Swimmers may not hold onto the kayaks. Power boats will stand off away from the swimmers and kayaks, except for when the kayakers are exchanging places or relay swimmers are swapping places. At these times powerboats will approach the swimmers. Engines must be in neutral when swimmers or kayakers are approaching the powerboats.

Diane's Rock

The Start, “Diane’s Rock,” Ticonderoga. Note the plaque honoring her swim.

Power boats: Power boats must be inspected and tagged with a Visual Inspection Control Seal at an inspection station prior to launching in Lake George. See A speed limit from 9 PM until 5 AM of 25 MPH will be strictly enforced. The daytime speed limit is 45 MPH. Power boat captains must be familiar with and comply with all Rules and Regulations from the Lake George Park Commission available at

Each individual swimmer or relay team will be assigned a powerboat to escort the kayak and to provide a place for relief kayakers and teammates for the relay. The powerboat will be available in case of a required evacuation or early end to the swim. Power boats should not be used to escort the swimmer. Powerboats should stay at least 50 feet from swimmers and downwind of swimmers except during relay exchanges and changing of kayakers. During these periods powerboats shall approach the swimmer or kayaker with the engine idling (no turning prop).

Plaque commemorating Diane Struble's historic swim, placed on Diane's Rock.

Plaque commemorating Diane Struble’s historic swim, placed on Diane’s Rock.

Many places in Lake George, in particular near Ticonderoga (north end) and the Narrows (mid-lake), the swimmers and kayaks may take a direct line that transits shoals too shallow for power boats. Channel markers are red and green. Going north toward Ticonderoga (the lake outlet), the red buoys are on the left. Returning south toward Lake George Village, away from the outlet, the red buoys are to the right (“red right returning”). It is the responsibility of the power boat captain to safely navigate through the shallows.



Friday, September 16  

  • See Participants’ Guide for details.10:00 AM – 4:00 PM      Registration, for ALL Swimmers and Volunteers:  NY., Comfort Suites, 1533 State Route 9, Lake George, NY
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Fun Swim open to all USMS registered swimmers. Million Dollar Beach.
  • 3:00 – 4:30 PM – Marathon Swimming Forum. Lake George Historical Association, 290 Canada St, Lake George, NY
  • 5:00 PM -7:30 PM – Dinner , The Adirondac¸ Shoreline Cruise dock, Lake George,  (Boards at 4:30 PM)

Saturday, September 17

  • 9:00 AM  Confirmation of direction of swim
  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Registration, for ALL Swimmers and Volunteers:  NY., Comfort Suites, 1533 State Route 9, Lake George, NY
  • 3:00 PM  Mandatory briefing for all swimmers and volunteers. Positive check-in at Mossy Point for north to south route and at the Lake George Village dock on Beach Road for south to north route.
  •  3:45 PM Pod Leaders take swimmers to start at Snug Harbor North, kayakers follow.
  • 4:00 PM Pod 1 Starts
  • 4:15 PM Pod 2 Starts
  • 4:30 PM Pod 3 Starts
  • 4:45 PM Pod 4 Starts
  • 5:00 PM Pod 5 Starts

Sunday, September 18    

  • 5:00 PM          Swim ends, swimmers still in the water must be picked up by boats.
  •  7:00 PM         Dinner TBA for those still in town.



Note: The interest from swimmers in this event has been spectacular. If you send in a new application now we will generate a wait list. If you don’t get in this year we will put you at the top of the list if we do this again.

It takes several volunteers to support each swimmer. You can learn as much about distance swimming from volunteering as from swimming, and our limit on swimmers is mostly controlled by our success at recruiting volunteers. We hope you can participate as a volunteer this year, or join an existing relay team that has spaces open. Contact the event director for further information: Bob Singer:  marathon//AT//lakegeorgeswim//dot//com

All interested swimmers, both solo and relay teams, must submit the Lake George Marathon Swim application available here:

Once accepted, swimmers can submit deposits and balances here:

Sign Up

Contact Bob Singer at marathon AT or 518-791-1295 with questions.

Solo Swimmers: Submit your application to marathon//at//lakegeorgeswim//dot//com. If your credentials are approved and space is available, you will be asked to submit a non-refundable $100 deposit that will be applied against the $400 registration fee. Final payments are due no later than July 31, 2016

Relay: Applications may only be submitted by a Team Captain. The Team Captain shall submit all applications at the same time. If fewer than six team members are on a relay, the Captain may submit the applications for the whole team and specify the number of team members. If one or more proposed team members do not demonstrate adequate experience for the swim, the Team Captain will be notified and given the opportunity to recruit a replacement. If the credentials of the team are approved and space is available, the Team Captain will be asked to submit a non-refundable $100 deposit that will be applied against the $600 relay registration fee. Final payments are due no later than July 31, 2016

The Lake George Marathon Swim needs volunteers to captain boats and to kayak for the swimmers. Swimmers who can provide boats, kayaks, captains, observers, kayakers, and other volunteers will be given priority.



A familiar sight on Lake George.

A familiar sight to Lake George swimmers – the Lake George steamboats.

The Lake George Marathon Swim is a complex event, requiring roughly 15 boats, 12 kayaks, food, fuel, radios, GPS trackers, shore facilities, permits, insurance, EMS services on standby, and other costly requirements. The participants will be paying $100-$400 each to participate in addition to acquiring services of a powerboat and a kayak. All the staff members are volunteers. Even so, we still need sponsorships and donations to make this event possible. We urge you to be a sponsor. Please contact Bob Singer at marathon//at//lakegeorgeswim//dot//com or 518-791-1295 to discuss your support.

In addition to our heartfelt thanks, we can offer the following high visibility for your logo or name:

$500 sponsor:
Logo/name on Web site/emails

$1000 sponsor:
Logo/name on web site/emails
Logo/name on banners
Logo/name on t-shirts

$2500 sponsor:
Logo/name on web site/emails
Logo/name on banners
Logo/name on t-shirts
logo/name on Swim caps
2 tickets to dinner cruise

$10,000 sponsor:
Year 1 Title rights:
Lake George Marathon Swim presented by XX
10 tickets to dinner cruise



Rules for the Lake George Marathon Swim are modified from the USMS Rules for Open Water events:

Please refer to Section 303.1 through 303.6 for the rules for escorted swims. These sections have specific rules for receiving aid, relay exchanges, and dealing with a disabled escort craft. ALL SWIMMERS, KAYAKERS, BOAT CAPTAINS, AND OBSERVERS MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH THESE RULES. The following summarizes the rules and provides course-specific guidance.

Start: The start at the north end of the Lake will be “Diane’s Rock.” *It will be marked by a pair of large orange or green buoys*. Starts will be in waves (“pods”) of 5-6 swimmers at a time with 15 minutes between waves. Pods will be organized slowest to fastest. Swimmers shall start in waist deep water just south of the Rock.

The start at the south end of the Lake will be in the water south of a line that connects the north end of the public docks in Lake George.

Relay Exchanges: Relay legs for teams with 4-6 swimmers shall be one hour. Relay teams of 2-3 swimmers may choose one-hour or two-hour legs. The duration of each leg shall be maintained and timed by the Observer, who shall record the swimmer name and start and finish time. Relay teams shall establish an order of swim and notify the Observer of their order. This order shall be maintained unless a swimmer cannot swim a leg. If a swimmer misses a swim they are out of the swim and may not pick up a relay leg latter. The Observer or the Captain may delay or accelerate the relay exchange if local conditions are not suitable when the hour is nearing completion. The exchange shall take place by having the power escort boat position itself ahead of the swimmer and to the side and shift the motor into neutral. The fresh swimmer shall jump in and make physical contact with the finishing swimmer. The finishing swimmer shall board the powerboat while the kayak continues to escort the fresh swimmer.

Finish: Finishes will be marked by a pair of large orange or green buoys. Physical Contact: The swimmer may not make intentional supportive contact with any vessel, object, or support personnel at any time during the swim.

Standard Equipment
The swimmer may wear a single textile swimsuit that terminates above the knees and shoulders, one latex or silicone cap, goggles, ear plugs, nose clips, and may grease the body. All swimmers must wear a brightly colored swim cap. Swimmers at night must wear at least two electric lights or chemical or electric “glo-sticks,” fastened to the swim goggles or upper surface of the bathing suit. Swimmers may wear a wrist watch and an electronic device that logs data but does not transmit it to the swimmer (e.g. GPS log, but not a pacer). The swimmer may not use any additional equipment that benefits speed, buoyancy, endurance, or heat retention, including wetsuits, neoprene leggings, pull buoys, paddles, pacing aids, music devices, etc. In accordance with USMS Rule 303.7.2 neoprene caps may be worn, but swimmers who want their swim to be acknowledged by the International Marathon Swimming Federation are advised that this organization prohibits neoprene caps. If you have any questions contact the Event Director or Referee.

Drafting: The swimmer may not intentionally draft behind any escort vessel or support swimmer. The swimmer may swim alongside an escort vessel, but may not intentionally position himself or herself inside the vessel’s bow and displacement waves, except while feeding.

Support Swimmers: A single support swimmer may accompany the solo swimmer for up to an hour at a time. Multiple support swims are allowed, with a minimum of one hour between support swims. The support swimmer may not intentionally touch the solo swimmer and must be positioned alongside or slightly behind the solo swimmer.

Observer: The Observer is responsible for maintaining a vigilant watch on the swimmer, much like a “spotter” in a ski boat. The Observer shall documentithe facts of the swim, interpreting and enforcing the swim rules., and completing a Form (see Participants’ Guide) and reporting hourly to the Referee. The Observer must be capable of dispassionately evaluating the swim and its adherence to the declared rules. If the Observer is acquainted with the swimmer, (s)he must be able to separate the personal relationship from his or her duties to observe, document, and verify. The Observer may not also serve as the boat captain or one of the kayakers. A relief Observer may take over these duties to allow for rest by the other Observer, but the duty of being the Observer may not be split between more than two people.

Authority on the Escort Vessel: The Captain of the power boatmay cancel the swim for his swimmer or relay team at any time, for any reason, including, but not limited to, concerns for the safety of the Swimmer or support personnel. The Captain is responsible for following all relevant local maritime regulations.

Responsible Environmental Stewardship: Everyone involved in the swim attempt – swimmer, observer, support personnel, kayakers and escort boat personnel – must treat the environment respectfully and prevent avoidable harm to marine wildlife and ecosystems. No garbage may be dropped in Lake George! All powerboats must be equipped with a permanent or temporary head with a holding tank.

Continuance of the Spirit of Marathon Swimming: If any issue regarding swim conduct arises that the Swim Rules do not clearly address, the swimmer should act – and the observer should judge – in accordance with the spirit of unassisted marathon swimming.

Rules for the Relay Swims: A swim undertaken by a team of two or more swimmers, swimming in successive turns of a fixed time interval, in a fixed order.

For a relay swim, add the following two rules:

  1. Relay teams may choose the number of swimmers (two minimum, six maximum). The turn interval shall be approximately one hour. The team roster, order and interval must remain fixed for the duration of the swim and reported to the Observer before the Start of the swim.

The swimmer exchanges take place in the water, with the new swimmer approaching the previous swimmer from behind. The swimmers are allowed five minutes to complete the exchange, starting from the scheduled exchange time.




A major purpose of the Lake George Marathon Swim is to support charities that give so much back to our communities. We have set the following minimum goals for each swimmer and relay team:

Individual Swimmers: $500
Relay teams: $600

We recommend splitting the giving so that half the giving goes to a charity of swimmer or team’s choice, and half goes to one of the Lake George charities that work so hard to make Lake George a wonderful resource for the region. We hope that some of you will make a Lake George charity your personal choice too.

The Marathon Swim will not collect this money. We are using to simplify collection of donations. We would appreciate each swimmer or team to let us know the total amount of your donations to each charity, so that we can tally our total impact. Some suggested language to your friends and supports is offered below.

The Lake George Charities that we have identified include the following list, with links to each of their web sites. Please feel free to recommend additional Lake George-based charities that are not on this list:

Your request notes can say things like:
“I appreciate your support for my Marathon Swim, and ask that you show this support by contributing to [Charity 1} and [Lake George Charity]. These tax deductible contributions can be made directly in my name and will help me meet the charitable goals of this event.”

Include web links to the charities or to If you are not using,  ask them to let you know how much they gave.

If you use FaceBook to reach out friends and family for support, please copy the request to the event FaceBook page at