Swimmer Agenda 2019
This page currently contains 2019 information and will be a work in progress for awhile. We are reviewing your surveys and plans are well underway for an even better 2020 adventure! Please check back for the new Agenda information!
Packet Pick-Up / Instructional Video
When: Saturday, August 10, 2019
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Kewadin Casino
3015 Mackinac Trail
St. Ignace, MI 49781
You can plan ahead and make your pre-swim morning
easier, by picking up your packet the day prior to the
swim. While you’re at the casino, take advantage of
special entertainment values made available to Mighty
Mac swimmers. If you cannot make it to the packet pick-up, we will have your packet at check-in the morning of the swim. You are encouraged to watch a looped Mighty Mac Swim game day informational video at packet-pick up, or you may watch the video online here (link will be live soon).
Game Day Check-In Procedures / Parking
When: Sunday, August 11, 2019
4:15 – 5:45 a.m.
Where: Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry - Dock #2 (Freight)
99 N. State St., St. Ignace, MI 49781
In the days leading up to the event, we will send you a bar and QR code for check-in. You may check in by having your code scanned the morning of the swim as you board Star Line's Ottawa ferry to be taken to the starting line. You may also choose to use your code to check in ahead of your arrival at the Star Line ferry dock, allowing for quick and easy express boarding of the ferry, by installing and using the “RD Checkin” application on your Android or Apple phone.
We encourage you to be dropped off at check-in or to carpool if you can. We will have 400 swimmers and parking is at a premium in downtown St. Ignace. The parking lots at the Star Line dock will accommodate approximately up to 250 vehicles. The overflow city lots behind the businesses across the street will accommodate approximately another 100 vehicles. Should it be needed, we have also secured use of Little Bear Ice Arena's south lot (albeit a few blocks away) which should accommodate any remaining overflow parking needs. Please see the maps below. We will have parking attendants at the Star Line lots to assist you. We also plan to have designated parking at the Bridge View Park finish line for your family and friends who are there to cheer for you and for any swimmer who wishes to park a vehicle so it is waiting for them when they finish the swim (look for the "Finish Line Parking & Shuttle" map below soon).
A Star Line shuttle van will be parked near the ferry, which will transport your bag to the finish line so it will be waiting for you under our tent after the swim (please just one bag per person). Please take only what you need for the swim, or will be able to take with you on the swim, on to the ferry. Please put everything else in your bag and leave your bag with a volunteer at the Star Line shuttle van. Remember not to leave any items on the ferry. It is a good idea to tag your bag for identification. Click here for "game day" packing suggestions.
Note: Arriving wearing your wetsuit peeled down to your waist, so as not to tie up restroom facilities, will be appreciated by your fellow Finheads. You may wish to pull your wetsuit on the rest of the way if the morning air is cool during the ferry ride.
Ferry Departure / Timing Chip Anklets: Check in will end at 5:45 a.m. sharp and the Ottawa ferry will depart from the dock at 6:00 sharp. The Ottawa will sound its’ horn at 5:55, five minutes prior to departure. Please affix timing chips (from your packet) to both ankles prior to arriving at the jump-off point offshore of the starting line. Covering your timing chip anklet with your wetsuit pant legs will better secure the anklet and will not interfere with the timing sensor. Instructions for jumping from the ferry, reminders of rules and safety procedures, and information on the course, water temperature, currents and commercial freighter traffic (if applicable) will be given during your transport to the starting line.
Scheduled Start Time (jumping from ferry): 7:00 a.m.
Starting Line Location: Colonial Michilimackinac State Park
102 W. Straits Ave., Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Finish Line Location: Bridge View Park
Boulevard Dr., St. Ignace, MI 49781
On a beautiful pre-dawn cruise to the majestically-lit Mackinac
Bridge, you can meet the inspirational members of our Veteran
Swim Team. Then experience a highly memorable patriotic send-
off and get to jump from the ferry “by the dawn’s early light.”
Warm-Up Swim to Shore: After jumping from the ferry, it is a short
warm up swim to the starting line on the south shore of the Straits
at the foot of the bridge near the site of historic Fort Michilimackinac. Upon making landfall, you will be greeted by 18th-century Native Americans (yes, we have mastered time travel). Your official start time is when you cross the timing mat just before re-entering the water to begin swimming north alongside the bridge. The clock begins running on cut-off times when the last swimmer crosses the timing mat at the starting line.
Swim between Michigan’s lower & upper peninsulas: Officially starting from Colonial Michilimackinac State Park, swim north beside the Mighty Mackinac Bridge to the finish line at Bridge View Park. You will start on the east side of the bridge and finish on the west side of the bridge. The intended swim course crosses over to the west side under the bridge, near the start. Support boats will be in place to guide you under the bridge. Sight off the bridge to your one side, sight off the support boats on the perimeter of the swim lane to your other side (or the lead boat in the swimming lane ahead of the pack), and steer toward the finish line arch at Bridge View Park. When you reach the bridge's causeway, you will begin angling slightly west toward the finish line. Support boats will also angle slightly to the west on the perimeter of the swim lane. The causeway on the last part of the course should give you a .75-mile reprieve from any currents that may have been plaguing you, for the finish line stretch. You have officially completed the race after exiting the water and crossing the timing mat under the arch.
Possible Alternate Course: The swim course will always be on the down-current side of the bridge. If currents dictate that the swim course remains on the east side of the bridge from the start, the swim course crosses over to the west side by following a course beneath the small causeway bridge, just before the finish. The navigational channel under the causeway bridge will be marked with a bright orange buoy and support boats will direct swimmers.
The two possible swim courses are marked on the maps below in yellow. The outer swim lane perimeters are marked in red and will be patrolled by our safety fleet. The route to the starting line, after jumping from the ferry, is shown in turquoise.
The sun shines on our swim course.
Finish Line Festivities
While nothing can compare to the joy and exhilaration you
and your contingent of supporters will feel when you
triumphantly emerge from the water, we will try to add to the
festive atmosphere. Look for finish line photos to download
from our Facebook page which forever capture for you your
moment of glory! The Mighty Mac Official Radio Station will be
on-site pumping out the tunes and an on-air personality will
serve as the event's emcee. Keeping with time-honored
Northern Michigan culinary traditions, swimmers will enjoy
pasties from Bentley’s Café and replenish lost calories with
other favorite area treats. What’s a pasty? Click here . Our
Information Station, located under our finish line tent, is there
to answer questions and make sure you are reunited with your
bag. If you donated to our Veteran Swim Team, you’ll want to
change into your red commemorative attire and cheer our
courageous and inspirational wounded Veterans when they
emerge triumphantly from the water!
Picnic in the Park: Bridge View Park has picnic tables and pavilions to use after picking up your refreshments from the Bentley’s Café canopy. Due to our large numbers, you may want to bring lawn chairs or blankets for your picnic. You may want to use them again for the Awards Ceremony. If it is raining, we will accommodate as many as possible under the tent.
Race Results: Overall and age-group leader board updates will be announced periodically by the emcee throughout the race. A new list of all finishing times and current place standings will be posted at the Information Station in conjunction with these live updates, for all to view. Pick up a QR code from the Information Station, scan it with your phone, input a participant's last name or swim cap number and view an individual's finishing time and real-time place standing. Final race results will be posted on our "Swimmers & Stats" page and at the Information Station ASAP following the conclusion of the race and prior to the Awards Ceremony.
Disqualified Swimmers: Hey, it happens. Disqualified swimmers will be returned to their vehicles at the Star Line Ferry dock in St. Ignace via the Ottawa after the conclusion of the race. A shuttle will be available for those with vehicles in overflow parking. Please join us for the finish line festivities at Bridge View Park!
Note: No alcohol is allowed on the premises.
When: The Awards Ceremony is scheduled to begin at
11:30 a.m., based on a 4-hour maximum swim scheduled
to start at 7:00 a.m., or a half-hour after the last swimmer
finishes (if the swim is less than 4 hours). If the start time
is delayed due to a commercial freighter’s ETA at the
bridge or due to adverse weather or water conditions,
the Awards Ceremony will begin a half hour after the
race’s 4-hour time limit or after the last swimmer finishes
(if the swim is less than 4 hours).
Where: Held in the open lawn past the far eastern circular
end of the walkway along the shoreline. Moved under tent
if raining (standing room only).
Collect your hardware and your joy will be complete!
The top three overall male and female finishers will be awarded unique and coveted trophies, designed to be symbolic of the two historic 18th century forts in the Straits area (Fort Michilimackinac & Fort Mackinac). You are sure to hear cannons being fired from these forts throughout the day!
Age group medals will be presented to the top three male & female finishers in the following age divisions … 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+.
All who finish the Mighty Mac Swim are considered champions and receive finisher’s medals!
Swimmers must be present at Awards Ceremony to receive an award. Awards will not be shipped to award recipients.
Finisher’s medals will be presented at the finish line.
Finish line transfers
Where: The shuttle will pick up passengers using Bridge View Park's wide center half-circular drive (look for the "Finish Line Parking & Shuttle" map above, under "Game Day Check-in Procedures / Parking" soon).
When you are ready to leave the finish line festivities, a shuttle will take you back to your vehicle at the Star Line ferry dock in St. Ignace, if you do not have a ride lined up.