NEW YORK, June 20. TWENTY-four top individual distance swimmers will compete on Saturday in one of the premier annual international marathon swim races, the 24th annual Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS.) In addition, three two-person, six four-person, two six-person and five corporate relay teams will also compete.
Sixteen individual male and eight female swimmers will compete, ranging in age from 22 to 62. Nine U.S. states will be represented – California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia – as well as the United Kingdom. The field also includes eight swimmers from previous MIMS.
The 28.5-mile marathon begins at 6:30 a.m. at the South Cove in Battery Park City. The swimmers take the traditional counter-clockwise route, proceeding down the Hudson River, around the southern tip of the island at Battery Park, up the East River with the incoming tide, preserving their energy to face the treacherous currents of Hell's Gate in upper Manhattan. They will cross the Harlem River to the long home stretch down the Hudson River, back to the finish line at South Cove. An escort boat, including a race official, and a kayaker accompany each swimmer during the race. The winning time should be in the seven-hour range.
Proceeds from the swim benefit the New York City Parks & Recreation Learn-to-Swim program, which helps establish swimming programs for children as well as rehabilitate swimming pools. MIF has donated more than $100,000 to the Learn-to-Swim program. This summer the Foundation is also hosting seven other races of various distances, including one new event, open-water swim clinics, and two aquathlons.