MANHATTAN ISLAND MARATHON SWIM FEATURES 30 TOP SWIMMERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Posted online: Wednesday, 19 May 1999
|NEW YORK, N.Y., May 19, 1999 - A record total of 30 top long-distance swimmers from around the world will compete in the 28.5 mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on June 12. They will be joined by two, six-person relay teams. |
The 18th annual swim , which will begin at 6:45 am at Gangway 6 in Battery Park, will have a truly international flavor with competitors from the U.S., Australia , Canada , Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Eleven states will be represented, including Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C. The field includes 1997 MIMS champion Tammy Van wisse of Victoria, Australia ,1992 and 1993 winner Kris Rutford of Lincoln, NE and 1991 winner Susie Maroney of Sydney, Australia. The field includes 20 men and 10 women ranging in age from 23 to 56.
Here's a look at the individual competitors:
David Blanke, of Dallas, Texas, is 39 and an attorney. A first time MIMS participant, he has completed the 12.5 mile Swim Around Key West and the 10.5 mile Lanai-Lahaini swim in Maui, Hawaii.
Mark Blewitt, of Merseyside, England, is 32 and the marketing manager for a travel company. He has completed many open water swims of at least five miles around the United Kingdom.
David Boudeau, of Weston Florida, is 40 and a chief financial officer for a marketing firm. He completed the MIMS in 1997 (7:25:23, good for third place) and has done the Swim Around Key West three times.
John Coningham-Roll, of London, England, is 36 and a landscape gardener. He successfully crossed the 21-mile English Channel (MIMS sister swim) in 15:51 in 1998.
Robert Copeland, of Somerset, New Jersey, is 42 and a principal in a data services company. He has completed the Chesapeake Bay swim (10 miles +) and various open water swims in New Jersey and Florida.
Linda Devereux, of Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom, is 38 and a bookkeeper. She completed the English Channel swim in 12:05 (1975).
Henry Eckstein, of New York, N.Y., is 51 and the chief investment officer for a claims company. He has completed several open water swims in the New York area.
Vince Herring, of Rochester, Minnesota, is 56 and the owner of an art and frame store. He has completed the Swim Around Key West (1997) and has swum many open water swims of at least five miles each in Minnesota lake races.
Alison Horsfall, of Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom, is 25 and a professional beach lifeguard. She has completed the Round Jersey swim (45 miles), the English Channel swim (17:24 in 1997) and the Round Guernsey swim (24 miles).
Craig Kandell, of New York, NY, is 38 and is an editorial/graphics specialist for the Sloan -Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. He has completed the MIF's Little Red Lighthouse Swim (7.8 miles) among numerous other open water events.
Benn Kramer, of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is 41 and a property manager. He is a real veteran of MIMS, having completed it 14 times.
John Langton, Jr. , of Somerville, Massachusetts, is 32 and national adverising representative for a major newspaper. He swam the MIMS in 1997 (8:06:01) and last year swam the English Channel in 11:56. He has also completed the 20-mile Maine to Massachusetts swim.
Tim Lawrence, originally from Waterloo, Iowa, is 33 and the chief of space technology in the European Aerospace Office for the United States Air Force, based in London. He has completed the English Channel swim three times (most recently in 10:30 in 1998).
Paul Lewis, of London, England, is 38 and a project manager for a major bank. He completed the English Channel swim in 14:27 in 1994.
Mark Lohnes, of Lincoln, Nebraska, is 33 and a geologist with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Protection. He completed the Swim Around Key West last year.
Susie Maroney, of Sydney, Australia, is 24 and is well-known for her successful record marathon swims, including Mexico to Cuba (120 miles) in 1998 (done in 39 hours) and Cuba to Florida (95 miles) in 26 hours in 1997. She won the MIMS in 1991 with a time of 7 hours.
Marcella MacDonald, of Andover, Connecticut, is 35 and a podiatrist. She completed the MIMS in 1993 (7:33) and 1994 (7:38) and also swam the English Channel (12:57) in 1997.
Sally Minty-Gravett, of Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom, is 41 and the owner of a swimming school and center. She has completed the English Channel three times (most recently in 12:08 in 1992), the Round Jersey swim, as well as other U.K. swims of 10 miles or more.
Nick Olmos-Lau, of Washington, D.C., is 53 and a neurologist. He has completed the Swim Around Key West and the 7.5 mile Point Lookout swim in Potomac,Maryland.
James Pittar, of Sydney, Australia, is 29 and a tax officer. Despite being legally blind, he has successfully completed many marathon swims, including the English Channel (13:50 in 1998). He will be assisted in the MIMS by five-time MIMS champion Shelley Taylor-Smith.
Michael Ross, of New York, N.Y., is 51 and the owner of a health club. He successfully completed the MIMS in 8:18:48 last year.
Kris Rutford, of Lincoln , Nebraska, is 39 and a certified public accountant. He won the MIMS in 1992 and 1993. He also holds the men's record for swimming around Manhattan (5:53:57) and was the first swimmer to successfully complete the course in reverse (against the Tide) in 1995 (17:48).
Tobie Smith, of Austin, Texas, is 25 and a student. She has competed in several open water swims, including the 25K national championships in Florida and California and the Pan Pacific championships in Japan.
Lee Sowter, of Copthorne, West Sussex, England, is 23 and a swimming and aquatic aerobics instructor. She has swum the English Channel twice (most recently in 1992 at 15:15) and the Round Jersey swim (1994).
Alison Streeter, of Redhil, Surrey, England, is 34 and a foreign exchange trader. She is the swimmer best acquainted with English Channel, having successfully crossed it 37 times, including six times in 1992 alone! Her best time for the swim is 9:30. She also holds many speed and distance records for marathon swimming races in the United Kingdom and France.
Klaus Stutzer, of Frankfurt, Germany, is 55 and a pharmacist. He completed the English Channel swim in 1997 (14:09) and has swum many open water events of at least 10 miles each in Germany and Italy.
Tammy van Wisse, of Victoria, Australia, is 30 and a motivational speaker. She won the MIMS in 1997 with a time of 7:15:57. She has also competed in and won other marathon swims, including the Melbourne, Australia marathon.
Yoshihio Tsukada, of Tokyo, Japan, is 31 and an office worker. He successfully completed the English Channel (13:11 in 1997).
Michael Welsch, of Burlington, Massachusetts, is 40 and a carpenter. He has completed the Boston Light swim (10 miles) six times.
Kathleen Wilson, of Charleston, South Carolina, is 36 and the principal harpist in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. She has completed the Swim Around Key West and a 14-mile swim through the Charleston Harbor.
The two, six-person relay teams are as follows:
The Old Faded Speedos team members include captain Robbie Allen, 38, of Sterling, Virginia; Kevin Delaney, 34, of New York, NY, Andrew Geiszler, 30, of Manassas, Virginia; Andrew Johnson, 34, of Alexandria, Virginia; Rod O'Connor, 34, of New York, NY, and John Rohrbach, 38, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Team Lowenstein includes captain Paul Lewandowski, 42, of Mountain Lakes, NJ; Rich Cahayla-wynne, 46, of Ringwood, NJ; Rob DeStefano, 36, of Lodi, NJ; Jill Moberg, 36, of New York, NY; Christopher Welgos, 29, of Parsippany, NJ and Susan Welgos, 25, of Wharton, NJ.
The swimmers will take the traditional counter-clockwise route, proceeding up the East River with the incoming Tide, preserving their energy to face the treacherous currents of Hells Gate in upper Manhattan, then crossing the Harlem River to the long home stretch down the Hudson River back to Gangway Six, where the race will end.
Depending on conditions, swimmers should begin finishing approximately 7 to 7.5 hours after the race begins.The winner will receive the Gallagher Cup, named for MIMS founder Drury Gallagher.
Taylor-Smith, 36, from Sydney, Australia, won the 17th MIMS last year with a time of 7:18:07. It was the record fifth time she won the race.
The MIMS is sponsored by the Manhattan Island Foundation (MIF), along with Hudson River Park Conservancy, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and WestGlen Communications, and corporate sponsor D'Agostino Supermarkets.
The MIMS is organized by the MIF, which each year makes a donation to help New York City neighborhoods establish Learn to Swim programs for children and to rehabilitate swimming pools. More than $75,000 has been donated so far.
Three other swims will be organized by the MIF and Hudson River Park Conservancy during 1999. They include:
The second annual Race for the River Swim, a 2.4 mile "against the Tide" swim on Saturday, July 17. That swim will run from the World Financial Center up the Hudson River to Pier 62. More than 30 swimmers competed in the inaugural swim last year, when it was called the "Wrong Way" swim. A half-mile fun swim will be held prior to the race.
The third annual Great Hudson River Swim, a 2.8 mile event scheduled for Sunday, August 1. It will run from the 79th Street Boat Basin to Pier 62. Nearly 75 swimmers competed in this race in 1998.A one-mile fun swim will be held prior to the race.
The second annual 7.8 mile Little Red Lighthouse to Lightship Swim at the New Hudson River Park, to be held Saturday, September 18. The swim will run from the George Washington Bridge to Pier 62 (Chelsea Piers at 23rd Street). More than 35 swimmers competed inthe inaugural swim last year.
More information about MIMS, the other swims and the MIF, including history, past results, media coverage and this year's events, can be found on the MIMS home page on the Internet. The address is www.nycswim.org.