Distance Swim Challenge

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Marcellus Wiley at the Distance Swim Challenge Start
2010 Distance Swim Challenge Courses
Distance Swim Challenge Relay Course
The 2011 Distance Swim Challenge on August 21st offers a 500m Fun Swim and 6 distance events, including: 1.2, 2.4, 4.8 and 12.6-mile individual races, and a 4.8 or 12.6-mile relay. This is also a special CEO Challenge. With multiple starting points between Manhattan Beach and Venice, all races finish in historical Venice Beach, California, U.S.A. The race was founded by Alan Morelli and is one of the longest marathon swims in the world.

It is one of the America's Top 100 Open Water Swims.

Contents

Individual Swimmer Options

1.2 Miles: The 1.2-mile course starts and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29.

2.4 Miles: The 2.4-mile course starts and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29. Participants will swim two loops of the 1.2-mile course. At the end of each loop, participants must swim to the beach and check in with medical staff before proceeding.

4.8 Miles: The 4.8-mile course starts in Marina del Rey at the Ketch St. Lifeguard Tower – just south of the Venice Beach Pier – and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29. Participants will swim four total legs, each 1.2-miles in distance. At the end of each leg, participants must swim to the beach and check in with medical staff before proceeding.

12.6 Miles: The 12.6-mile course starts on the north side of the Manhattan Beach Pier and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29. Participants will swim eight total legs, each between 1.2 and 2.4-miles in distance. At the end of each leg, participants must swim to the beach and check in with medical staff before proceeding.

Relay Swimmer Options

The relay swimmer options include 8 swimmers for the full 12.6 miles or 4 swimmers for 4.8 miles.

4.8-Mile Relay: The 4.8-mile relay includes four legs, all of which are 1.2-miles distance. The course begins in Marina del Rey at the Ketch St. Lifeguard Tower – just south of the Venice Beach Pier – and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29. At the end of each leg, participants must swim to the beach and hand off their timing chip to their teammate before proceeding.

12.6-Mile Relay: The 12.6-mile relay includes eight legs each between 1.2 and 2.4-miles in distance. The course begins on the north side of the Manhattan Beach Pier and finishes in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Santa Monica Tower 29. At the end of each leg, participants must swim to the beach and check in with medical staff before proceeding.

Qualifying Requirements

All swimmers need to certify that they have the required proficiency to safely complete the distance that they are registering for, prior to August 8, 2011. The qualifying requirements are as follows:

12.6 miles: To qualify for the 12.6-mile swim you must supply proof that you've completed a 10K or longer swim in an official event, or attend and pass a lifeguard checkout swim.

4.8 miles: To qualify for the 4.8-mile swim you must supply proof that you've completed a 2.4 mile swim (Ironman distance) or a 5K event or longer in an official event, or the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim with a finish time in the top 40% of finishers.

2.4 miles: To qualify for the 2.4-mile swim, you must supply proof that you've completed a 1.2-mile swim (1/2 Ironman) or longer, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier swim, or attend and pass a lifeguard checkout swim.

1.2 miles: 1.2-mile swimmers are not required to qualify for this distance. However, we recommend that participants are comfortable in the ocean and have swum at least 500 continuous meters in open water previously.

12.6-mile Relay: Relay swimmers in the first 4 legs of the 8-stage relay must meet the requirements for the 2.4-mile event. Swimmers in the remaining 4 legs of the relays must meet the requirements for the 1.2-mile event. A kayaker/paddle board escort is required for teams of 4 or less.

4.8-mile Relay: Relay swimmers must meet the requirements for the 1.2-mile event.

Videos

Training for the Distance Swim Challenge

Last Man Standing At The Distance Swim Challenge

Qualifying Swims

A list of qualifying swims is posted here.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is posted here.

A sample training program is posted here.

Training advice is posted here.

Kayak/Escort

A kayaker or paddle board escort is required for the 12.6-mile individual swim and for 12.6-mile Relay teams of 4 or less. The escort is not required for teams of 5 or more.

500-meter Fun Swim

An all-ages 500m Fun Swim was just added. Anything goes in this new event – including fins, snorkels, paddles... even tutus. Prizes will be awarded for the best 3 costumes. Cost is US$5 for kids and US$10 for adults (18 and over).

The 500m Fun Swim will occur in Venice Beach between the Navy St. Lifeguard Tower and Tower 29. The event will take place after the start of the 1.2-mile event - exact time to be announced soon!

Race Organizer

OptimisSport is a division of OptimisCorp, a company dedicated to using evidence-based and clinically proven approaches to physical fitness training. We are developing training programs to help athletes achieve their potential, based upon scientific research and evidence. We will be making swim training programs available to help people take on whatever distance swim challenge they want to accomplish.

Media Inquiries

For all media questions and requests, please contact Jessica Eastman, Media Relations, OptimisCorp via email.

Beneficiaries

All proceeds from this event will be going to local charities that work to promote living a healthy and active lifestyle: Exceeding Expectations, Splashball™ and Save the Team.

SAVE the TEAM Foundation is dedicated to assisting high schools, directly or indirectly, by creating, maintaining or rebuilding athletic programs and facilities. This is achieved through providing financial assistance to students, schools and third parties and encouraging students, whether or not on sports teams, to pursue a healthy active lifestyle.

Exceeding Expectations, founded by 10-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion Cherie Gruenfeld, is a program in the San Bernardino School District that serves an inner-city population. It is designed to encourage at-risk kids to move their lives in a positive direction, using the sport of triathlon as the vehicle.

Splashball™ is designed to introduce the sport of water polo to children 5-9 years old. The intent is to provide basic skills and understanding of the sport in a recreational format. Although water polo is known for its toughness and endurance, Splashball harnesses all the fun, dynamic aspects of the game in a safe, easy to learn aquatic experience that will motivate kids to swim and stay fit.

Distance Swim Challenge Champions

Trent Grimsey, 2011 Distance Swim Challenge Champion
2008 Olympian Mark Warkentin won the inaugural race in 2010 over Australian Olympian Ky Hurst and 2004 world 25K champion Brendan Capell

World championship silver medalist Trent Grimsey won the second edition in 2011 over brother Codie Grimsey, Pan American Games gold medalist Alex Kostich and defending champion Mark Warkentin.

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