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Manhattan Island Marathon Scheduled for Early July -- June 22, 2005

NEW YORK, June 22. THE 24th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim will be held July 9 and will feature a field of 135 competitors, including 25 distance specialists from around the world. The swimmers range in age from 21 to 61 and represent nine U.S. states, along with Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, France and Mexico.

The 28.5-mile marathon will begin at 9:15 a.m. from South Cove in Battery Park City. Swimmers, who will be accompanied by a kayaker, race official and escort boat, must navigate through the East River, Harlem River and Hudson River and will finish at South Cove. Nebraska’s Kris Rutford (1993) and Maryland’s Emily Watts (2002) are past champions who will participate.

Aside from the individual swimmers, various teams will compete, ranging from four and six-person squads to a pair of corporate relays. Proceeds from the event will benefit the New York City Parks & Recreation Learn-to-Swim Program. The program helps establish swimming programs and rehabilitates pools. The event is organized by the Manhattan Island Foundation, which has run more than 60 races since its founding in 1993.

The Manhattan Island Foundation has helped more than 40,000 children learn to swim during the past 12 years and has also raised public awareness of the waters that surround Manhattan. More information on MIF can be found at www.nycswim.org.