Seriously... you guys ask these questions a lot!

Confused boy thinking with question mark

As this is an inaugural event.  We expect to have a lot of questions!  

We do our best to answer them via email, Facebook and personally during many planned training swims.  We will always do our best to answer your questions and ease the anxiety that accompanies these types of events.  Please do your part by familiarizing yourself with this site and the multitudes of information provided.  Otherwise, we hope that you will find this list of frequently asked questions helpful.


Q. Why is a wetsuit required, and will you make any exceptions?

A. Wetsuits are required for your safety.  However, the reason we are strict on this is because the requirement comes from our ability to insure this event and get permits.  We are well aware that even really cold water doesn't phase some of you, however this is not currently an issue we are willing to make exceptions for.  

The temperature also has a tendency to regularly fluctuate in the straits.  You may start swimming in 72 degree water and end up swimming in 62 degree water, or vice versa.  

Q. How do we swap swimmers for a relay team?

A. Relay team is responsible for finding their own replacement. Once that is done, contact Jon to start the bib transfer.  (jon@swimaroundmac.com)

Q. Are swim fins allowed?
A. Yes

Q. Will there be a bag drop-off at the starting line? 
A. Yes

Q. Time limit to complete swim?
A. Yes, max of 8 hours to complete the swim.

Q. Is it a shore swim?
A. Yes, you are 200 yards off of the beach and follow the shore. Watch out for large boulders.

Q. Do we need our own kayak support?
A. No, the event is providing boats.  

Q. Can we bring our own kayak support?
A. Yes, HOWEVER, if they will be JUST supporting you.  If they want the event to assign them to any position in the water, then they should register as kayak support. If they are registered, they will get a meal ticket and will wear a volunteer shirt. While personal kayakers are encouraged for safety, we ask that they do not include themselves as volunteer staff.  

Q. Are there first aid or food stations? 
A. There will be 2 aid/medical stations this year, one at British Landing and the other around mile 4-5.  Any time you exit the water, you MUST check-in with the Event Staff. Anytime you enter the water you MUST check-in with the Event Staff. This is CRITICAL! 

Q. Can we wear headphones?
A. Yes, bone conduction. You must be able to hear lifeguards and boaters. 

Q. Can swimmers take a break anywhere?
A. Yes, anywhere you can safely get out.   However, please be aware of private property during the first 2 miles of this swim.
Added note: Any time you exit the water, you MUST check-in with the Event Staff. Anytime you enter the water you MUST check-in with the Event Staff. This is CRITICAL! 

Q. How rocky is the bottom? Should we wear shoes?
A. The bottom is VERY rocky!!! We highly encourage you pack water-safe footwear in your flotation bag.

Q. What is a good training swim?
A. Any long distance swims in large bodies of water.  We suggest joining The Mackinac Island Swim Group on facebook.  Many swimmers hold training swims throughout the year.  

Q. Should we purchase our tickets for the ferry before the event?
A. YES!!! Here is the link https://www.sheplersferry.com/
Note: Here is the Discount Code: Swim22
Note: When purchasing tickets, you need not enter a time. 
Note: The ferry is leaving from MACKINAW city, ONLY! We have an early departure.
Note: Do NOT leave anything on the ferry that you want back. 
Note: Make sure to use the bathroom at Shepler’s as that may be your last opportunity before you get in the water.  
Note: Tickets are round trip.

Q. Water Temperature?
A. Totally depends. Likely in the high 60s.  Last year the water was between 68-72 throughout the swim.  Please keep in mind that the longer you are in colder water, the more effected by it you will become.

Mackinac Island (MI) water temperature in AugustMI, (seatemperature.info)

Q. Where will packet pick-up be?
A. Two locations. If you are on the Island, Mission Point Resort. And if you are on the mainland (Mackinaw or St. Ignace) packet pick up will be in Mackinaw City at Alexander Henry Park (North Huron Avenue).

Q. My family/friend is bringing their bike. Do you know how much it cost to take it to the island?
A. $13 to bring personal bike onto ferry. Do not forget to use Discount Code Swim22
We have been told the cost to rent a bike on the Island is $11 an hour. Can rent bikes on the island around 8 AM. 

Q. What time does the swim start?
A. Depending on the weather and promptness of the ferry, the plan is between 7:15 and 7:45AM. 

Q. Can I start the swim early if I am staying on the Island?
A. NO, everyone needs to check-in.

Q. Anti-chaffing?
A. Many swimmers have recommended Tri-Glide or Body Glide.  Plan to test out other products during training swims. It is a very good idea to use some sort of anti-chafing products. You will thank us later. 

Q. What does the medical tent look like?
A. It is a blue tent. There is a picnic table there. Good spot for photo opp or breather. 

Q. How far of a walk is it to the start line?
A. From the ferry to the starting line is about a half a mile walk. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes. Shoes that you can fit into your dry bag/buoy. 


Note: Also consider that if you leave the water before the finish line, you are responsible for walking the rest of the way back. So, if you decide to quit swimming at mile 6, you will have 2 miles to walk to get to the finish line. There are NO cars to come and get you. Unless you need medical attention, obviously! If you need medical attention at any point in time, you will wave down event staff and they will notify EMS. So please consider wearing comfortable shoes that you can walk in. Your feet will not thank you if you don’t. 

Note: If you have private kayakers, they will also have to carry their kayaks about 1/4th of a mile. ☹ They will not let the kayakers start in the water by ferries. We are so sorry!! You could bring a type of cart or wagon to tow or drag your kayak with you.

Q. How far of a walk from the ferry to Mission Point?
A. About a half a mile

Q. Swim Buoy markers?
A. Buoys are about 2 miles apart.

Q. What will the start look like?
A. Depending on Covid rules the swim start will be spread out. We will know closer to the event. The kayakers will be on the outside (deeper water) of the swimmers. 

Q. Do buoys have to be labeled?
A. YES, please have them marked BEFORE you come!! Name, phone number, and emergency contact! 

Q. What hydration and snack at the halfway point?
A. Planning on Gatorade, water and GU at this point in time.

Q. Is a road ID okay?
A. Yes

Q. Should we be wet-suited up on the ferry? 
A. It would not hurt but you don’t have to be. Suggestion: have it on up to your waist.

Q. Can you swim more than once on the relay team if needed? 
A. Yes, as long as you check in with event staff when you get out of the water. We need to know if you are in or out of the water. 

Q. Can the personal support crew walk out into the water and hang out and wait for swimmers at periodic points?
A. We are urging non-swimmers to stay out of the water due to safety concerns.

Q. Will you be having any more live Facebook Question meetings?
A. Yes, we will let you know. 

Q. Will everyone get a medal for any distance swum?
A. This is not a race. This is just a fun swim among friends!! Yes, all will get a medal. 

Medals will be given out once you have checked in with the event staff at the awards table. Only YOU can pick up your medal. Medals won't be sent to you unless you pay for your own shipping. The event staff does not make any money off of this event and can't afford to send medals all over the country. We're sorry. We hope you understand. 

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