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Boot Camp

Our Open Water Boot Camp offers comprehensive, training sessions tailored to meet your needs. Qualifying swims for the English Channel or Manhattan are possible in Florida during the winter. Temperatures at Clearwater Beach in January and February usually hover around 60F, so we can help you train for cold water swimming or we can help you do a qualifying swim for the English Channel or Manhattan. Our warm summer waters are great for open water training with a concentration on technique, navigation, and training drills. Private training sessions last 4 to 8 hours. Group sessions are also available. Call or Email to reserve your date.

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Read about my 3 swims of the Triple Crown

1. THE ENGLISH CHANNEL: Swimming Everest - by Terry Tomalin of the St. Petersburg Times - The 21-mile crossing of the English Channel is the open-water peak for challengers such as Ron Collins. They call it the Everest of open-water swimming. "It doesn't matter how many times you have swum around Manhattan or across Tampa Bay," Collins said a few days before he would attempt to add his name to the record book. "When it comes to long-distance swims, there is only one that matters and that is the English Channel." MORE>>>

2. MANHATTAN ISLAND: One Lap, 28.5 Miles - by Terry Tomalin of the St. Peterburg Times - This race took place only 9 months after 9.11.01 and the 28 Mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim starts and finishes near Ground Zero. The circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan took about 8 hours to swim, but all thoughts were still on the tragic events that took place nearby. MORE>>>

3. CATALINA CHANNEL: Catalina Channel Do-Over To Achieve The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming - Swimmers who complete three famous marathon swims are added to a list for completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Believe it or not, it's become wildly popular to swim the 21 miles (33.7 km) across the English Channel between England and France, the 20.2 miles (33 km) across the Catalina Channel in Southern California, USA, and the 28.5 miles (45.8 km) around Manhattan Island in New York, USA. MORE>>>

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June 15, 2014, 7:00am Eastern Time

For Immediate Release

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc.

Grace Van der Byl Wins The 28.5 Mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim

Tampa Bay's Chris Burke and Mark Smitherman Among the 17 Finishers of the "Super Bowl" of Marathon Swimming

Marathon Swim

Southern Californian Grace Van der Byl was challenged briefly as Brazilian Samir Barel entered the Harlem River with a slight lead after successfully navigating the East River and the treacherous Hell's Gate tidal strait. By the time the pair re-entered the Hudson, Grace held a 3 minute advantage that she maintained over the last 12 miles to the finish line at the tip of Manhattan.

Tampa Bay was well represented by Chris Burke, 52M, St. Petersburg, and Mark Smitherman, 56M, of Clearwater. Burke finished 6th overall, 4th male, with a time of 7 hours, 43 minutes, 20 seconds. Smitherman was the oldest to the complete the swim on the day, finishing 12th overall with a time of 8 hours, 10 minutes, 50 seconds. Their times were about 4 hours shorter than their 2013 times at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

Both marathon swimmers have completed the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim and now, the 28.5 Mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Burke has already booked his Catalina Channel crossing for September 2014, and for the English Channel in July 2015. Read about Tampa Bay area swimmers Chris Burke and Mark Smitherman's back story in a 6/13/14 story in the Tampa Bay Times by Terry Tomalin in Manhattan marathon swim awaits two bay area men.

Here is the real-time feed from race day:

Results for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, held on June 14, 2014:

1. Grace van der Byl (36) 7:14.03
2. Samir Barel (30) 7:17.59
3. Karen Zemlin (46) 7:23.44
4. Richard McKern (41) 7:41.07
5. Rowan Webb (42) 7:41.08
6. Christopher Burke (52) 7:43.20
7. Suzanne Heim-Bowen (55) 7:47.45
8. Ken Classen (53) 8:04.10
9. Malena Hankins (40) 8:05.49
10. Ernie Hoftyzer (44) 8:09.18
11. Anna DeLozier (51) 8:09.53
12. Mark Smitherman (56) 8:10.50
13. Gordon Gridley (42) 8:10.56
14. Sergio Salomone (46) 8:12.28
15. Javier Merida (41) 8:13.11
16. Charlotte Brynn (48) 8:14.31
17. David Uprichard (48) 8:17.20

18 swimmers entered the race, held on June 14, 2014:

8 Barel, Samir M 30 Campinas, Brazil
16 Brynn, Charlotte F 48 Stowe, Vermont
5 Burke, Christopher M 52 St. Petersburg, Florida
3 Classen, Ken M 53 Denver, Colorado
17 DeLozier, Anna F 51 Sierra Vista, AZ
18 Gridley, Gordon M 42 Syracuse, Utah
10 Hankins, Malena F 40 Kennesaw , Georgia
6 Heim-Bowen, Suzanne F 55 Walnut Creek, CA, California
14 Hoftyzer, Ernie M 44 Davis, California
13 McKern, Richard M 41 Summit, New Jersey
7 Merida, Javier M 41 Marbella, Spain
9 Salomone, Sergio M 46 Buenos Aires
11 Smitherman, Mark M 56 Clearwater, Florida
12 Spratt, Mark M 58 Davenport, Iowa
15 Uprichard, David M 48 New York, New York
1 Van der Byl, Grace F 36 Solana Beach, California
2 Webb, Rowan M 42 Sydney, Australia
4 Zemlin, Karen F 46 Eden Prairie, Minnesota

April 19,  2014, 11:59 pm Eastern Time

For Immediate Release

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc.

Samantha Simon Claims Victory and Tames a Choppy Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

The Seventeenth Annual 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim was held on Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Marathon SwimSixteen solo swimmers, and four relay teams from across the United States and Canada entered The Seventeenth Annual Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

Samantha Simon, a 24 year old marathon swimmer from Janesville, Wisconsin endured a breezy and choppy day to lead the field, with only 5 of the 16 solo swimmers able to complete the course. Her time of 12 hours, 18 minutes was 2-3 hours longer than expected due to the challenging conditions.

Samantha Simon's first marathon swim was in Tampa Bay in 2008, when she was just about to graduate high school as an 18 year old. Not only did she complete that challenge in 8 hours, 59 minutes, she also went on to successfully complete swims of The English Channel (13 hours, 11 minutes), The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (8 hours, 10 minutes), and The Catalina Channel (9 hrs, 22 minutes) in 2010, at age 20, to become the youngest person to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

See our Facebook Discussion Board and Photos

The race began at 7:04am at the Magnuson Marina Cove Resort, at the foot of the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge. With the champion Simon hitting the finish line at Ben T. Davis Beach at 7:22pm, the only other contestant to finish before sunset was Lisa Hertz, 28, a school teacher from Winter Haven, Florida. When she cleared the water at 7:50pm, her mother Charlotte Hertz, her coach Dr. Mark Smitherman and her Team Windfall teammates welcomed her as she finished just before sunset (although behind clouds), which was at 7:53pm. Also coming to the finish line with Lisa was her kayaker JC Malick:

The three remaining finishers broke Tampa Bay Marathon Swim records when they reached the finish line in darkness. Carl Selles, 67, from Aurora, Colorado arrived at Ben T. Davis Beach at 9:25pm, along with Ann von Spiegelfeld, 52, of Tampa, Florida. Since Spiegelfeld was granted an early start time(6:03am), her official time of 15 hours, 22 minutes broke the existing endurance record for the event. But her record was broken at 11:21pm, when Arnie Bellini, 54, of Tampa, Florida arrived at the finish line for the new record, 16 hours, 17 minutes:

Of the 4 relay teams that started the event, three teams were able to finish the swim, with the Bull Shark Open Water Swim Club finishing with the fastest time of the day, 10 hours, 8 minutes.

Watch a replay of the race GPS trackers>>>

Official Results - Solo Swimmers

Samantha Simon, 24F, Janesville, WI - 12 hours, 18 minutes
Lisa Hertz, 28F, Winter Haven, FL - 12 hours, 46 minutes
Carl Selles, 67M, Aurora, CO - 14 hours, 21 minutes
Ann von Spiegelfeld, 52F, Tampa, FL - 15 hours, 22 minutes
Arnie Bellini, 54M, Tampa, FL - 16 hours, 17 minutes

Official Results - Relay Teams

Bull Shark Beach Open Water Swim Club - 10 hours, 8 minutes
Big Donald Lutton, 44M, Miami, FL
Andrew Lutton, 49M, Tampa, FL
Christopher Beach, 44M, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Bubba Drody, 45M, Coral Gables, FL
Juan Cue, 54M, Tampa, FL
Scott Linebaugh, 53M, Tampa, FL

Delmarva Dogfish - 11 hours, 16 minutes
David Speier, 58M, Bishopville, MD
Jennifer Underwood, 31F, Salisbury, MD
Bill Snyder, 64M, Princess Anne, MD
Jeffrey Benner, 54M, Salisbury, MD
Charles Potterton, 38M,Salisbury, MD
Bruce Anderson, 61M, Salisbury, MD

SYSM Shark Bait - 11 hours, 49 minutes
Fernette Ramnath, 48F, Englewood, CO
Terri Goodman, 54F, Sarasota, FL
Marty Rauch, 49M, Sarasota, FL
Ray Becker, 53M, Sarasota, FL

Start List for April 19, 2014

Samantha Simon, 24F, Janesville, WI
Lisa Hertz, 28F, Winter Haven, FL
Thomas Bell, 45M, Wyomissing, PA
Kevin Joubert, 41M, Towson, MD
Gabriel Viti, 50M, Highland Park, IL
Thomas Hintz, 48M, Marshall, IL
Willy Blumentals, 41M, Secaucus, NJ
Bridgette Hobart, 51F, Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Carl Selles, 67M, Aurora, CO
Ann von Spiegelfeld, 52F, Tampa, FL
Dan Fritz, 50M, Chicago, IL
Arnie Bellini, 54M, Tampa, FL
Bart Cobb, 59M, Tampa, FL
Genevieve Mackwood, 54F, Ottawa, Ontario
Brian Lanahan, 38M, Charleston, SC
Steve Faulkner, 52M, Barrie, Ontario

Bull Shark Beach Open Water Swim Club
Big Donald Lutton, 44M, Miami, FL
Andrew Lutton, 49M, Tampa, FL
Christopher Beach, 44M, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Bubba Drody, 45M, Coral Gables, FL
Juan Cue, 54M, Tampa, FL
Scott Linebaugh, 53M, Tampa, FL

Delmarva Dogfish
David Speier, 58M, Bishopville, MD
Jennifer Underwood, 31F, Salisbury, MD
Bill Snyder, 64M, Princess Anne, MD
Jeffrey Benner, 54M, Salisbury, MD
Charles Potterton, 38M,Salisbury, MD
Bruce Anderson, 61M, Salisbury, MD

Kona Kaizen
Vince Schaper, 49M, St. Paul, MN
Hadar Aviram, 39F, San Francisco, CA
Cynthia Thomas, 65F, Houston, TX

SYSM Shark Bait
Fernette Ramnath, 48F, Englewood, CO
Terri Goodman, 54F, Sarasota, FL
Marty Rauch, 49M, Sarasota, FL
Ray Becker, 53M, Sarasota, FL

Marathon Swim

The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim has been named one America's Top 100 Open Water Swims for 2014 and has been listed as one of the 30 "World Swimming Majors" by WOWSA. Since this event was first staged in 1998, it has drawn competitors from across the United States, and from Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

Email the Race Director for more information, or to indicate your interest in entering as a swimmer or to receive more information about becoming an event volunteer.

Tampa Bay Marathon Swim Records

7:41 - Chris Derks, 2002 (Overall & Men's Record)
7:51 - Penny Palfrey, 2008 (Women's Record)
16:17 - Arnie Bellini, 2014 (Swam the Longest)
9:52 - Ron Collins, 1998 (First Swimmer)
8:34 - Gail Rice, 1998 (First Woman)
7:53 - Team Hammerhead, 2006 (Fastest Relay 3)
7:39 - The Sharks, 2006 (Fastest Relay 6)
14:21 - Carl Selles, 2014 (Oldest Swimmer, age 67)
For more information, contact:
The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim
Distance Matters, Inc.
Ron Collins, Race Director
PO Box 18004
Clearwater, FL 33762-9998
727.531.7999 | www.DistanceMatters.com
Email: Collins@tampabay.rr.com

Visit the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim on Facebook to connect with other participants, and view pictures/video from the event, dating back to April 1998. Go to Facebook Now >>>

 

Past Results  13 | 12 |  11 10 | 09 | 08 | 07 | 06 | 05 | 04 | 03 | 02 | 01 | 00 | 99 | 98

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