Distance Matters

Home of the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

Official Results - April 21, 2018

Minnesotan Karen Zemlin Wins a Windswept Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

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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+)

The world's most iconic open water marathon swims are the Catalina Channel, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, and the English Channel. 

Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

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View pictures and video from The 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

Tampa Bay, Florida, USA -  One of Marathon Swimming's greatest stars completed a rare Winter long distance swim on New Year's Eve.  Marcy MacDonald swam the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in a swift time of 9 hours, 13 minutes. 

The water temperature was 64F (18C), but the colder temperatures do not bother the veteran swimmer.  After all, she's completed 15 successful English Channel crossings, the most of any American in history. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View Pictures and Comments @ Facebook>>>

The swimmer was supported by handler/coach Janet Galaya, kayaker Derick Brown, and escort boat pilot Philip Nunez.  They began their journey at 6:20am and finished at 3:33pm, for a time that ranks as the 4th fastest for a female at The 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.  Air temperatures began in the low 50s, but the sun came out and warmed to 78F in the afternoon.  Winds calmed during the day, but the early morning colder winds of 8kts. caused a slight chop for the first half of the swim.

She is known as, "The American Queen of the English Channel" and was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.  Dr. Marcella 'Marcy' MacDonald, 54, of Andover, Connecticut, is...

Read more about MARCY MACDONALD>>>

December 31, 2017 - Official Results

Marcy MacDonald's New Year's Eve 24 Mile Swim of Tampa Bay a Success

For more information, contact:
The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim
Distance Matters, Inc.
Ron Collins, Race Director
PO Box 18004
Clearwater, FL 33762-9998
727.531.7999 |www.DistanceMatters.com

Email: Collins@TampaBay.rr.com

Swimming on a calm day, going the length of Tampa Bay in less than 10 hours is an amazing feat.  At this year's Tampa Bay Marathon Swim a 50-year-old woman, Karen Zemlin from Plymouth, Minnesota was able to battle choppy waves and a 15 knot wind to win the event in an incredible 9 hours, 55 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Temperature was a very comfortable 75F/24C, but the easterly winds measured 15 knots for the start at 7:08am.  The swimmers fought through a moderate chop of 1 to 2 feet until noontime.  The winds fell to about 8 knots in the afternoon so the waves were less daunting by the time they reached the Gandy Bridge.   The late-afternoon seabreeze stirred winds and caused isolated thunderstorms as the last swimmer reached the finish at 7:36pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Zemlin previously had finished third overall at the 2014 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.  Her time for the 28.5 mile course was a very fast 7 hours, 23 minutes, 44  seconds.  In 2013, she won the 27-mile END-WET in 6 hours 58 minutes.  The Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test or END-WET, is a 27-mile down the Red River between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Oslo, Minnesota.  Like the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Manhattan Island (28.5 miles) and END-WET (27 miles) are some of the longest marathon swim races in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Champion Karen Zemlin was only 23 minutes behind the Relay Team Spunky Old Seamen, who finished in 9 hours, 32 minutes.  53 year old Seth Huston of Houston, Texas and Greg Jablonski, 51, from Portland, Oregon were the first to make it to the finish line at Ben T. Davis Beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Capital Punishment Relay featured four former college swimmers, most notably Helena Baker, 37, who was a standout at Indiana University.  The team also included team captain Bill Sullivan, 52, from McLean, Virginia, USN Admiral Mark Heinrich, 60, from Aliso Viejo, California, and Mark Wainwright, 50, from Alexandria, Virginia.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alison Hayden, 46, is currently from Kinnelon, New Jersey, but she is a former Pinellas County resident.  She is nationally ranked as an endurance athlete as a  triathlete and as a marathon swimmer.  Previously she won the Swim For Alligator Lighthouse in 4 hours 2 minutes in 2016. She won the 10 km marathon swim at the 2016 Barbados Open Water Festival.  She finished second in the 10 km marathon swim at the 2017 Barbados Open Water Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Loreto, 45, from Bethesda, Maryland was the final competitor to reach the Finish Line, reaching Ben T. Davis at 7:36pm.   His enthusiasm was evident as he finished swimming the length of Tampa Bay in a time of 12 hours, 28 minutes.

Leigh Rey, 41 from Hopkinsville, Kentucky was forced to withdraw near the St. Petersburg Pier due to coldness.  Kenny Lehman, 43, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania withdrew at the Gandy Bridge after eleven hours and 18 miles of progress up Tampa Bay.

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 held annually in April, in celebration of Earth Day.

The next Tampa Bay Marathon Swim will be on Saturday, April 20, 2019.  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 marthon swims.

Solo Swimmers
9:55 Karen Zemlin - Overall Champion
11:21 Alison Hayden - 45-49 Age Group Champion
12:28 Jim Loreto - Male Champion

Relay Teams
9:32 Spunky Old Seamen - 2 Person Relay Champions
10:21 Capital Punishment - 4 Person Relay Champions

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.

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