There are three words that come to mind when describing the Kotlin swimming race: severe, complicated and alluring. With that in mind the swim itself takes its start in one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, St. Petersburg. This 25km swim has been taking place for 4 years and there have already been 40 swimmers to complete it. 2017 was a huge year as 15 of the 40 people to complete it did so this year.
This race is interesting as it is presented in a very different format than that of a normal open water race. It is swum individually and the swimmer may choose their start date at some point throughout the season. Thus, it is more considered a time trial format but the results of each swim are placed against each other to decide the final winner. The season typically runs May to September but this can also depend on weather which could cut it shorter. When the athlete or team (2-3 swimmers) chooses their date, they are the sole swimmer that will compete that day. The race is known for its strong currents, gusty winds and large waves that challenge each athlete in different ways. The different conditions can change the race from 25km into so much more depending on the surf that day.
Dating back to its start in 2014 all the way to 2017 the total distance recorded for all 40 swimmers was 1073km. Though this race is considered to be one of the toughest in our series it is highly regarded for its spectacular location going through St. Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland and finally into the city of Kronstadt on Kotlin Island. The Kotlin Race season wrapped up in September with Valerij Trushin of Inta, Russia posting the fastest time in 7 hours and 4 minutes. In total 8 swimmers completed the challenging solo swim and were rewarded with some hard-earned Distance Points.