Monday, April 22, 9:01 pm Eastern Time

For Immediate Release

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc.

Results from the Fifth Annual 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

CLEARWATER, FL--The Fifth Annual 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim was held on Saturday, April 20 to celebrate Earth Day.  The 24 mile competition started at 7:30am from the Sunshine Skyway at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort (800 227 8045) and ended at the Courtney Campbell Parkway on Ben T. Davis Beach.   Conditions were nearly perfect until a moderate sea breeze gave swimmers a slight chop during the late afternoon hours. Water temperature ranged from 78F - 81F.


Chris Derks, 31, Miami, FL set a new course record with a time of 7 hours, 41 minutes, 38 seconds. The old record was 8:24 set in 1999.

Tom Fristoe, 42, Pleasanton, CA also broke the old course record and finished in 8 hours, 13 seconds.
Marcos Diaz, 27, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic placed third with a time of 9 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds. Marcos Diaz 9:03.23

Gail Rice, 45, Miami, FL was the women's champion with a time of 9 hours, 8 minutes, 43 seconds. 9:08.43. To read more about Gail, CLICK HERE.

Cheryl Vega, 39, Hollywood, FL was the second woman to finish, posting a time of 9 hours, 37 minutes, 51 seconds.
Dave Parcells, 44, Madison, CT finished his fourth Tampa Bay swim in 9 hours 42 minutes, 48 seconds. Dave crossed the English Channel in 2000, and plans a two-way crossing later this year.
Dee Llewellyn, 24, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England was the third place woman, with a time of 11 hours, 39 minutes, 39 seconds.
John Ceraolo, 41, Coral Springs, FL completed the swim in 11 hours, 59 minutes, 37 seconds. Ceraolo plans an English Channel crossing in July.
Donald Lutton, 32, Miami, FL finished in 12 hours, 51 minutes, 54 seconds.

Tom Fergin, 37, Indianapolis, IN took 12 hours, 55 minutes, 24 seconds to finish, despite being everyone's sentimental favorite. He represents the Indy Swim Fit Team. team.

Dr. Konrad Euler, 66, St. Petersburg, FL, became the oldest ever to complete the swim, posting a time of 13 hours, 9 minutes, 28 seconds. Euler had entered the event 3 times previously, but was unable to make it to the finish until this year.

Laura Colette, 38, San Jose, CA set a new record for the longest time in the water, completing the swim in 13 hours, 20 seconds, 1 second. She agreed the time doesn't matter, but the distance does matter. She has competed in a Santa Cruz to Monterey relay, Llyn Padarn, Wales, and the Spring Lake Mile.

Kevin Murphy , 53, of Harrow, Middlesex, England was forced to withdraw within two miles of the finish because of the escort boat's inability to continue during darkness.
Wayne Gilliam, 34, Dallas, TX retired near the St. Petersburg Pier, after swimming more than 5 times longer than his previous best. On the boat were: Harold Nezat, Jim Barnes, Debra Gilliam and Tyler Jones.

The Bolles School Sharks, Jacksonville, FL set a new relay record, finishing in 7 hours, 30 minutes, 32 seconds. Their old record was set in 2001, when the swam the course in 8 hours, 45 minutes. The swimmers were Gabriela Flores, Briley Bergen, Mariana Klinowski, Morgan Sonstegard, Kate Van Houten, and Catherine Wolpe.
St. Pete Masters, St. Petersburg, FL set a new masters record time with 8 hours, 43 minutes, 32 seconds. The swimmers were Brian Rimel, Tim Kennedy, Robert Melson, Jennifer, Ed, Christineare Tim Kennedy, Robert Melsom, Brian Rimel, Jennifer Alger, Christine Forkois and Ed Asnew.
Tampa Bay Aquatic Club, Tampa FL finished first in the 3-person men's relay division, completing the course in 9 hours, 43 minutes, 49 seconds. Swimmers were Coach Joe Solak, Lane Hudson, and Tom Rawls.
Team Kermit, Tampa, FL finished the course in 10 hours, 37 minutes, 21 seconds. Swimmers were Laura Kaleel, James Mela, and Christine Swanson.
Team Gatorbait, Gainesville, FL finished in 11 hours, 17 minutes. Their swimmers were Don Johnson, Lyndsey Gair, Lew Friedland, Bill Gair, Tom Wurzbach, and Alan Couzens.

More information, including event history is available at

The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim is presented by, a Clearwater Web Design and Network Engineering firm owned by Event Director Ron Collins.

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc

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