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Atlantic City Around the Island Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Shelley Taylor-Smith in the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim, escorted by two local lifeguards
Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City
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The Atlantic City Around-the-Island Swim (Around The Island Marathon or the Around the Island Marathon Swim or the Around the Island (Absecon) Marathon Swim and, officially, the World Championship Ocean Marathon Swim and informally as the Atlantic City World's Championship Professional Long Distance Swim) in Atlantic City, New Jersey (U.S.A.) is a 22.75-mile (36.2 km) professional marathon swimming competition that attracted most of the world's fastest marathon swimmers from the 1950's to the 21st century.


Two local lifeguards, Ed Solitare and Ed “Dutch” Stetser, first accomplished the feat by completing a circumnavigation around Absecon Island. The Atlantic City Around the Island Swim was masterminded by Jim Toomey and re-started and organized in 1979 by Bob Frolow. Greta Andersen won 7 Around the Island Swims during her Hall of Fame career.

The original Atlantic City Around-the-Island Marathon Swim started in 1954 (called the Atlantic City Centennial Swim) and was considered one of the most difficult marathon swims on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation pro circuit. The first race in 1954 was won by Tom Park. Swimmers were escorted by lifeguard boats rowed by local lifeguards.

After several years of not being held, the event was re-initiated by the Green Whales in 2019 as the Around The Island Marathon, part of the Jim Whelan Open Water Festival.

1989 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim

1. David Alleva (USA) 8 hours 5 minutes 27 seconds
2. Paul Asmuth (USA) 8 hours 13 minutes 57 seconds
3. Rob Schmidt (USA) 8 hours 15 minutes 10 seconds
4. Claudio Plit (Argentina) 8 hours 32 minutes 55 seconds
5. Diego Degano (Argentina) 8 hours 34 minutes 52 seconds
6. James Kegley (USA) 8 hours 37 minutes 41 seconds
7. Fernando Fleitas (Argentina) 8 hours 42 minutes 3 seconds
8. Mohammed El Messiry (Canada) 9 hours 22 minutes 58 seconds
9. Irene van der Laan (Netherlands) 9 hours 25 minutes 21 seconds – first woman
10. Ray Schalley (USA) 9 hours 33 minutes 37 seconds
11. Jaime Lomelin (Mexico) 9 hours 34 minutes 39 seconds
12. Marek Abramowicz (Poland) 9 hours 40 minutes 9 seconds
13. Peter Elmore (USA) 9 hours 43 minutes 37 seconds
14. Ayman Saad (Egypt) 9 hours 59 minutes 49 seconds
15. Michael Hanus (USA) 10 hours 1 minutes 20 seconds
16. Joze Tanko (Yugoslavia) 10 hours 17 minutes 21 seconds
17. Alejandro Larriera (Argentina) 10 hours 31 minutes 6 seconds
DNF Diego Fleitas (Argentina)
DNF Sultan Kigab (Sudan)
DNF Vojislav Mijić (Yugoslavia)

1964 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim

The 1964 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim was advertised as the world championship race among professional marathon swimmers.

1. Herman Willemse (Netherlands) 10 hours 8 seconds 15 seconds
2. Abdel Latif Abou Heif (Egypt) 10 hours 31 minutes 23 seconds
3. Regent LaCoursière (Canada) 10 hours 31 minutes 23 seconds
4. Cliff Lumsdon (Canada) 10 hours 32 minutes 50 seconds
5. Jorge Messadra (Argentina) 10 hours 34 minutes 1 second
6. Diki Bojadži (Yugoslavia) 10 hours 35 minutes 45 seconds
7. Marty Sinn (USA) 10 hours 37 minutes 15 seconds
8. Roberto Reta (Argentina) 10 hours 44 minutes 38 seconds
9. Sayed El Gelil (Egypt) 10 hours 53 minutes 9 seconds
10. Kurt Pluntke (Canada) 11 hours 4 minutes 2 seconds
11. George Park (Canada) 11 hours 24 minutes 15 seconds
12. Hady Schmidt (Canada) 12 hours 25 minutes - second woman

Event Personnel


It is a circumnavigation around Absecon Island on the Jersey Shore that demanded swimmers tackle the Atlantic Ocean, inlets with tidal flows, and back bay environments in the clockwise direction. The water temperatures varies from 70-79ºF (21-26ºC). Ocean currents and tides are unpredictable and came from any direction. The 55th Around the Island Marathon starts and finishes at the Atlantic City High School Boat House 3401.

External links