The first swim was held back in 1974 with just 38 intrepid members of Whale Beach Surf Club competing. Sharks were the big concern in those days and local scuba divers patrolled the bottom in an effort to ensure a safe passage for the swimmers. Now, such beach-to-beach, or point-to-point, journey swims have become the favourite swims of fine ocean swimmers. Other surf clubs have copied the concept and now run swims along the beaches. However, THE BIG SWIM still is considered the premier event that is a must for competent swimmers upwards from the age of 12.
The 1.5 mile swim course begins at Alcatraz and finishes at the East Beach of Crissy Field located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Presidio Park (zoom into the upper right hand corner of the map to find East Beach). Those going on to the run follow the Presidio's popular Golden Gate Promenade, a dirt trail that winds its way along the San Francisco Bay. After about 1.25 miles and once past the Warming Hut and the Torpedo Wharf, runners make a sharp left, veering away from the water and up a set of wooden steps, along a dirt trail, through a brick tunnel and up onto the east span of the Golden Gate Bridge (about 400 feet of elevation gain in less than a half-mile). Crossing to Vista Point at the north end of the bridge, runners turn around and retrace their steps to the finish line.
The Around-The-Island Marathon Swim is a 22.5 mile (37km) ocean open water marathon swim. This demanding swim will present strong tides and current, varying conditions, and attracts the world's top swimming professionals. The Toughest Swim in the World!
Oliver Turner initiated this open water swim event while a graduate student at Colorado State University. He came up with the idea of a long-distance swim that would challenge the swimmers and also be a fundraiser for the Wingshadow Foundation. In 2003 the 2.4 mile swims were added. With the first age group (1000 yard, 250 yard) swims being added in 2006 at Carter Lake. In 2007, all swims were brought back to Horsetooth and the swim name changed to the "Horsetooth Swim" and the beneficiary changed to Team Fort Collins, who was one of the beneficiaries in 2006 as well.
THIS IS A 10 K SWIM COMPETITION (approx.6.0 miles) limited to30 elite swimmers. Competitors will begin race at the Golden Gate Bridge (close to the south tower) and finish at the San Francisco Bay Bridge during a 4.2 knots Flood. (tide West to East) .