Since the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim was first staged in 1998, it has drawn competitors from across the United States, from Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, Baliwick of Jersey, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Canada, and the Cayman Islands. The race is one of the world's longest marathon swims, and is held annually in April, in celebration of Earth Day.
December 31, 2018 Solo Result
Marathon Swimming Legend Marcia Cleveland Rocks Tampa Bay Marathon Swim on NYE
Her solo swim started at 6:15am on New Year's Eve, and is a prelude to a race on April 20th
Tampa Bay, Florida, USA - Marcia Cleveland, 54, from Winnetka, Illinois swam the 24 mile length of Tampa Bay on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2018. She started at 6:15am and was challenged by a 10-15mph headwind that generated a moderate chop of 1-2 feet. She reached Pinellas Point quickly, and headed north toward the finish line at the north end of Tampa Bay. Although the conditions improved by mid-day, the tide was less-favorable as she maintained a steady pace to reach the finish line at 5:34pm. Her time of 11 hours, 19 minutes was a fast time, especially since this was a solo effort and not a race to the finish line. Water temperature was 66-68F / 17-18C, which is considered to be very comfortable by marathon swimmers.
Marcia Cleveland is a 54-year-old American open water swimmer from Winnetka, Illinois. She lectures, coaches and provides leadership throughout the United States Masters Swimming community on all aspects of open water swimming, long distance swimming and marathon swimming.
She completed the fastest Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in history with a cumulative time of 24 hours 38 minutes 3 seconds (9 hour 44 minute crossing of the English Channel, an 8 hour 56 minute 10 second crossing of the Catalina Channel, and a 5 hour 57 minute 53 circumnavigation of Manhattan Island).
Adding to her swimming experience, Marcia is a knowledgeable and accredited coach, certified as a Level 4 USMS Coach and a Level 3.2 ASCA Coach with specialization in Open Water. She has written extensively on a variety of swimming topics, including her popular book, Dover Solo: Swimming the English Channel, which details the story behind this swim: her preparation, motivation and training. It has become “The Bible” of Channel Swimming, a must-read for aspiring marathon swimmers.
The next Tampa Bay Marathon Swim race will be on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Entry applications are currently being accepted, and the first swimmer to be confirmed is an international swimmer coming from Costa Rica. Since the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim was first staged in 1998, it has drawn competitors from across the United States, from Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, Baliwick of Jersey, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Canada, Cayman Islands, and now: Costa Rica. The race is one of the world's longest marathon swims and held annually in April, in celebration of Earth Day.
Preliminary Start List
Marcia Cleveland, 54F, Winnetka, IL USA (New Year window)
Carolina Mora Solano, 41F, Heredia, Costa Rica (April 20, 2019)
Carolina Mora Solana is 41, and lives in Heredia, Costa Rica. In 2018, she completed the Portland Bridge Swim (17 km) and was the third female finisher at the Cruce Golfo Dulce (21 km) in her native Costa Rica. She finished ninth overall in the 19.3 km Swim Around Charleston in South Carolina in 5 hours 9 minutes 21 seconds in 2017. She has also done the Swim Around Key West (20 km), and several SCAR Swims in Arizona (13 km, 14 km, 10 km).
This 24 mile ultra-distance marathon swim race starts at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and ends on the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa in a race that covers the entire length of Tampa Bay. The event is held each year to celebrate Earth Day and the revitalization of Florida's largest estuary. It is one of the world's longest marathon swimming races, and is a part of the Grand Slam of Open Water Marathon Swimming, which also includes The English Channel, Manhattan Island, and the Catalina Island marathon swims.
Entry forms are now available upon request, from the Race Director.
For more information, contact:
The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim
Distance Matters, Inc.
Ron Collins, Race Director
PO Box 18004
Clearwater, FL 33762-9998
Tampa Bay Marathon Swim Records
7:41 - Chris Derks, 2002 (Overall & Men's Record)
7:51 - Penny Palfrey, 2008 (Women's Record)
18:09 - Andrew Heinrich, 2015 (Swam the Longest)
9:52 - Ron Collins, 1998 (First Swimmer)
8:34 - Gail Rice, 1998 (First Woman)
7:53 - Team Hammerhead, 2006 (Fastest 3 person Relay)
7:39 - The Sharks, 2006 (Fastest 6 person Relay)
14:21 - Carl Selles, 2014 (Oldest Male Swimmer, age 67)
10:21 - Barbara Held, 2011 (Oldest Female Swimmer, age 57)
10:21 - Mighty Mermaids, 2017 (Senior Open Relay 50+)