We're going virtual!

To help fight the spread of covid-19, many summer events across the world are changing their format. We are doing our part by moving to a virtual format in 2020 as well. Based on public health considerations, guidance from experts, and a new state mandate limiting the size of summer events, we have decided that this safest and most responsible course of action.  We’re counting on you to join us.

As a Y supporter, you know that in the last 40 years Peaks to Portland has evolved to become much more than a race. Its positive impact is felt year-round by hundreds of kids in our community who might not otherwise have access to preschool, summer camp, karate, ballet and more.


A Legacy of Resiliency

The Peaks to Portland Swim began in the 1920s with a handful of tough swimmers looking to test their mettle by swimming from Peaks Island to Portland's  East End Beach. To keep warm, they coated themselves in axle grease.

Over the years, the event has grown in size and sophistication. And while World War II disrupted the race for a few years (for fear of naval mines), swimmers – and our community - have persisted.

In 1982 the YMCA of Southern Maine revived Peaks to Portland, and the race grew to become the world-recognized and critically important community event it is today.

To ensure this legacy of generosity continues, and to support swimmers who have been training for and dreaming of this race, we excited and proud to adapt to the times and move forward with this great event.


While the format is different, the 2020 race is no less important to our community and the children we serve. We fully anticipate returning to the beach in 2021. But we’ll need your help to do so.  Your participation in this year’s virtual event is critical.

JOIN US

Swim for the Kids!

By sticking with us, you’ll ensure the continued legacy of not only the Peaks to Portland Swim, but also the YMCA programs it supports, like summer camp and after school activities. In fact, because of swimmers like you, 10,000 children learn who they are and what they can achieve each year at the Y.   We help kids develop character, confidence, and independence – strengths they need now more than ever.


Helping Children Thrive

Children in our community need the YMCA’s support and consistency now more than ever. Due to the pandemic, many kids are experiencing high levels of stress, food insecurity, and a lack of educational support.

The Y is helping to address this, with food delivery, ongoing support for children and families, and a return to camp that promises to help kids get back to what they should be doing – playing, laughing, and feeling safe.


While we’ll miss seeing each of you on race day, we know that this change is the right thing to do. Given our 100-year legacy, this is simply the latest evolution of a world-renown race rooted in achievement and resiliency.

And though we won’t be together physically to cheer you on, you’ll be joined by hundreds of virtual swimmers from around the world to celebrate swimming, community and supporting one another.

The spirit of the Peaks to Portland – and our collective promise to help our kids grow up healthy, happy and strong - remains the same.  Thank you for your continued commitment to our children, our Peaks to Portland Swim, and our community.

To learn more about what our virtual event will look like, please visit our FAQs.

Swim for the Cause. Swim for the Community. Swim with the Y.