TAMPA, Florida, April 28. BRAD Denton, a 42-year-old Masters swimmer from Scottsdale, Arizona was the overall champion in the 9th annual Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. The event is held each year to celebrate Earth Day and the revitalization of Florida's largest estuary.
Denton completed the grueling, 24-mile course in 11 hours, 15 minutes. As it turned out, Denton was the only individual swimmer able to complete the race, although six relay teams also finished.
Race conditions were mostly favorable. The seas were relatively calm until a strong westerly wind picked up in the afternoon, causing a moderate chop for the swimmers.
Denton will now concentrate on his upcoming English Channel attempt in August after gaining confidence and experience swimming the entire 24 mile length of Tampa Bay.
The Men's Relay Champions were "The Sharks" from Ohio, who covered the course in a record time of 7 hours, 39 minutes. The Mixed Relay Champions were "Team Hammerhead" from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida who also set a new record, finishing in 7 hours, 53 minutes.
At 400 square miles, Tampa Bay is Florida's largest open-water estuary, a term that describes areas where fresh and saltwater meet. Just 30 years ago, Tampa Bay was so polluted many considered it beyond salvage. That it has come back to life is a testament to the resiliency of nature, and the continued dedication of hundreds of citizens, scientists and elected leaders who recognize it as a resource worth saving.
The event sponsor was Passport Marine of St. Petersburg, Florida. Emergency and media personnel patrolled the race course in a Formula 400 SS (40-foot Sun Sport) provided and piloted by Passport Marine.
1. Brad Denton, 42, from Scottsdale, AZ finished in 11 hours, 15 minutes
2. Michelle Santilhano, 35 from Yuba City, CA retired at 20 miles
3. Flavia Zappa, 38, from Bradenton, FL retired at 18 miles
4. Jessica Weather, 22, from Jacksonville, FL retired at 8 miles
1. The Sharks were the first overall finishers swimming the course in 7 hours, 39 minutes
Team members: Chris Zingarelli, 29, Dayton, OH; Doug Gale, 35, Centerville, OH; Jay Wilkerson, 37, Springboro, OH
2. Team Hammerhead were the mixed relay champions, finishing in 7 hours, 53 minutes
Team members: Andrea Woodburn, 42, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Jonathan Olsen, 42, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Bill Korey, 42, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
3. Ft. Lauderdale Aquatics was the 2nd mixed relay, swimming 8 hours, 42 minutes
Team members: Michelle Schraer, 35, Miami, FL; William Zenga, 51, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Carlos Lloreda, 51, South Miami, FL
4. Tampa Bay Aquatic Club completed their 7th consecutive Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 9 hours, 44 minutes
Team members: Tom Rawls, 38, Tampa, FL; Joe Solak, 41, Tampa, FL; Clara Reynolds, 36, Tampa, FL
5. Brighton Beach Memoirs finished their 3rd consecutive Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 9 hours, 56 minutes
Team members: Cristian, Vergara, 47, Brooklyn, NY; Lori Carena, 52, Brooklyn, NY; Jordan Waxman, 41, Rockleigh, NJ
6. Conrad and the Comrades were the 2nd male relay finishers, swimming 10 hours, 27 minutes
Team members: Pat Marzulli, 57, Indian Rocks Beach, FL; Dr. Konrad Euler, 70, St. Petersburg, FL; Bob Aldrich, 57, St. Petersburg, FL