SOLO - 3rd Annual Swim Around Lido Key, 7-mile Open Water Swim Race

Swim Without Limits

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Swim Without Limits, Inc.

Open Water Registration


This event is over.  Here is the next event in this series:

Saturday, April 14, 2018 - SOLO - 4th Annual Swim Around Lido Key, 7-mile Open Water Swim Race

Registration Schedule

It is now Eastern Time (EST) on .
Registration is closed because the maximum entrants was reached.
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Swimmer Registration Tue, Nov 1, 2016
08:00 AM
Mon, Apr 10, 2017
11:59 PM

This competition is limited to the first 141 entrants.

Saturday, April 22, 2017
USMS 2017 Open Water National Championship race (solo division only, seperate wave)
At beautiful Lido Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Hosted by Swim Without Limits, Inc.

For complete race information and updates go to:

Event Directors
David Miner 941-545-9709
Steve Butler 941-376-3524

About Lido Key
A gorgeous barrier island adjacent to Sarasota, Lido Key boasts some of Sarasota’s most beautiful beaches. With St. Armands Circle, Lido Key is a hub for excellent shopping and fine dining. Bring your family and friends to enjoy a great race and a special weekend exploring Lido Key and all that Sarasota offers. See for more information about Sarasota.

About the Race
This is a 7-mile open water swim race around the beautiful island of Lido Key. Each solo swimmer will have a pilot (kayak escort) to provide safety, navigation, and nutrition to the swimmer. Swimmers can enter as a solo swimmer, 2-person relay, or 3-person relay. Relay teams must take turns swimming and paddling, meaning that each person swims a portion of the race and paddles the kayak a portion of the race. Relay swimmers cannot have a dedicated pilot!

The course starts in the Gulf of Mexico on Lido's public beach just north of the Lido Beach Resort Hotel and takes you north along the beautiful beaches to New Pass inlet where you’ll swim by large waterfront homes and Mote Marine Aquarium up to City Island where you’ll turn right heading west, south-west to Coon Key in the Sarasota Bay waters. Popular Bird Key will be to your left as you make your way to Big Pass and the beautiful Lido Park. Exiting Sarasota Bay waters through Big Pass, you’ll turn right and head north in the Gulf along sparkling white sand beaches to the finish line at the Lido Beach Resort Hotel.

Elegibility and Registration
READ THIS BEFORE ENTERING: The solo division this year is a USMS National Championship Race. Because of this, ALL solo swimmers MUST be 2017 members of U.S. Masters Swimming if you want to participate in the championship. Relay teams will NOT be a part of the championship race and will start the race in a separate wave. Relay team members can pay for a one-event membership for race day. Initially, for the solo race, we are only opening the solo division to 2017 U.S. Masters Swimming members. If during that time we don’t fill the event, we may open one-event registration for solo swimmers however, they will not be part of the championship and will start the race in the second wave with the relay teams.

Relay team adults who are not current members of U.S. Masters Swimming may pay for a one-day membership during the online entry process; the one-day membership fee is $22.00 (in addition to the event entry fee). One-day memberships are NOT available for swimmers under the age of 18.

Race Hotel
Lido Beach Resort Hotel (discounted race rates available) - Make your reservations early as the rooms are first-come, first-serve. To receive the discounted rate, you MUST book your room by March 19, 2017.

To book your hotel room:
Online: Book Now!
Call (800) 441-2113. When calling, ask for the "Swim Around Lido" discounted race rate.

About the hotel: Known for its prime location and impeccable service, the Lido Beach Resort is Sarasota’s finest beachfront property. Located on a barrier island just off the coast of Sarasota and featuring 223 luxurious guest rooms and suites, guests can enjoy upgraded amenities in a serene setting along the Gulf of Mexico. Loyal team members await the moment to accommodate your every request. Visit for more information about the hotel.

Rules and Details
  • You must be able to complete the swim in UNDER 5 HOURS. This means if there is ZERO current, you should be able to swim 1 open water mile in about 42 minutes. If you’re not within the final 1/4-mile of the swim within 5 hours, you may be pulled by the motorboat pilots and shuttled to the finish line.
  • All swimmers and pilots MUST attend the pre-race safety meeting, which will be held on race day morning just prior to the race starting.
  • The race will follow the English Channel swimming rules. This means no swimsuits below the knees or over the shoulders. No suits that provide any type of buoyancy. No triathlon suits. No wetsuits. No other swimming aids.
  • All swimmers and pilots must provide their own nutrition (water, electrolytes, calories) for the entire race and have a means for securing it to the kayak. There are no water stations out on the course.
  • Relay teams: You can swap swimmers at any time during the race and as many times as they want during the race.
  • Relay teams: The pilot exiting kayak to swim must maintain contact and control of kayak until swimmer makes the exchange by hand-to-hand touch. At this moment, the finishing swimmer becomes the pilot and the only team member permitted contact with the kayak.  The pilot may then use sea bottom if needed for assistance to enter kayak and proceed as team pilot.
  • All pilots must have a whistle and wear an approved PFD while paddling.
  • Each pilot must have a cell phone secured in a dry bag for use in case of an emergency
  • You cannot hang or rest on your pilot's boat even when feeding.
  • No use of lower extremities to rest on or push off of sea bottom to gain an advantage.
  • Swim caps and body marking will be provided which must be worn throughout the race.
  • Persons allergic to latex should plan to wear a silicone cap beneath their race cap or bring their own brightly colored silicone cap.

PLEASE NOTE: If you can’t participate in the race or there are weather issues and we have to cancel the race, there are no refunds, transfers, or deferrals for any reason. The cost of the event is fixed and the money has been spent come race day.

Pilots and Kayak Rentals

Pilots (escort kayakers)

We STRONGLY encourage solo swimmers to bring their own experienced kayaker to escort them. All pilots MUST register as a pilot whether we provide one for you or you provide your own!

If you're a solo swimmer and need an escort kayaker from us, the cost is $65 and is paid during registration. $60 goes directly to the pilot and $5 is used for processing fees we incur.

NOTE: We can only guarantee 35 pilots. Once we hit 35 requests, we can no longer guarantee we will have a pilot for you. We will recruit as many pilots as possible, so you can always check with us to see if we secured more than 35.

Rental kayaks (Need to rent a kayak for the race?)
If so, rentals are available from our kayak sponsors. Give one of them a call and they will take care of your needs! Tell them you're doing the Swim Around Lido Key Race on Saturday, April 22, 2017. They will deliver the kayak to Lido Beach on race day morning and pick it up at the end of the race. Rental rates are $65 per kayak.

Island Style: Call Laurel at 941-587-1009

Siesta Key Bike & Kayak: Call 941-346-0891

Check-In (race day morning)
Pre check-in will take place on Friday from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Daiquiri Deck on St. Armand’s Circle.

Race day morning check-in and body marking will take place under our tents immediately prior to the race.

Pre-race Meeting
Saturday morning, April 22, starting at 7:30 AM will be the pre-race meeting. The meeting will take place at under our tents in the parking area. ALL swimmers and pilots must attend this safety and information meeting. Please refer to course map prior to the meeting. If you haven’t met your pilot prior to this meeting, you’ll meet your pilot during the meeting where you can discuss your race plan.

Water Temperature
74-80 F degrees

Prior to the Race (READ THIS!)

  • It is advised that you complete at least a 2- to 3-hour training swim and practice feeding every 30-minutes prior to attempting this race!
  • If you’re doing a relay and don’t have experience paddling a kayak, it is highly recommended that you spend time learning how to paddle a kayak safely.
  • If you’re a solo swimmer, make sure you communicate with your pilot prior to race day so that you’re both on the same page about your race plans. Don’t wait until race day to communicate! If we’re providing a pilot for you, we’ll be sending both you and your pilot an email introducing each other. You’ll then have their email address for further communication.
  • If you have any questions about your ability to swim this event, please contact the race directors


Water safety will be provided by the escort pilots on kayaks, powerboats, jet skis, a police boat, and an EMT that will be patrolling the course. Each powerboat will be flying a small orange flag and each jet ski rider will have an orange mark on the back of their life jackets for identification. Pilots will be instructed on how to seek assistance. An EMT will be available on the water and safety personnel will be instructed on how to assist a distressed swimmer and trained medical personnel will be available to assist in emergency situations. The MANDATORY pre-race meeting will review common communication signals for pilots (and swimmers) to use and recognize out on the course.

In case of inclement weather, unusually adverse surf conditions, or any other factors that may arise, an event committee composed of the event directors and safety personnel may modify the starting time or cancel the event.

Results will be available online at


Finishers medal for each swimmer who completes the swim.  Awards will be given to the top 6 in each age group for both male and female solo swimmers. Awards will be given to the overall top six 2-person relay teams and the top six 3-person relay teams. All awards will be presented during the post race social under our tents. Age groups are: 18-25, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 95-99

The awards will be presented during the post race social/meal.

Volunteers needed (have a family member volunteer and be apart of the race)
We need volunteers to help out during the race. Please click here to volunteer. Thank you so much!

Race Venue Location/Directions
Lido Public Beach parking and beach access (this is location of the event under our large tents)

400 Ben Franklin Drive
Lido Key, FL

Interstate 75 to Sarasota exit #210 (Fruitville Road). Take Fruitville Road west to US 41. Turn left (south) onto US 41 and continue John Ringling Blvd. (789). Turn right onto John Ringling Blvd. (789) and go over the bridge. Continue to St. Armands Circle going around the circle and exit the circle on John Ringling Blvd. Go to Ben Franklin Drive and go South to 700 Ben Franklin Drive.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, park in the public parking lot just to the north of the Lido Beach Resort Hotel. There are bathrooms, etc. at the public parking area.

Note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from " Events."

Online Registration closed on 4/10/2017.