Atlantic City Around The Island Redux

Atlantic City Around The Island Redux

Atlantic City Around The Island Redux

Courtesy of Karen Bown, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The 2nd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on August 9th.

Its signature event is the 55th Annual 22.75-mile Around the Island Marathon. Hosted by Green Whales, the inaugural 36.62 km Jim Whelan Open Water Festival last year successfully resurrected this historic swim for its 54th installment in honor of the late Jim Whelan [shown above], a former New Jersey State Senator, Mayor of Atlantic City, member of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, Atlantic City teacher, Atlantic City High School swim coach, and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Administrator.

The Around the Island Swim record holder is French professional marathon swimmer Stéphane Gomez who swam around Absecon Island in 2004 on 6 hours 37 minutes.

The 2019 race winners included:

• First male and overall winner: William “Bill” Leonard (Canada) 8:23:27
• First relay: Swim RVA Hammerheads with Steven “Craig” Dunbar and Teresa “Tess” Andres (USA) 9:29:56
• First female: Charlotte Brynn (USA) 9:31:28

The 55th Around the Island Marathon will offer a US$10,500 purse to its participants with additional prizes based on mileage and egress points.
• 1st Male Finisher: US$2000
• 1st Female Finisher: US$2000
• 1st Relay Team Finisher: US$3000
• 2nd Male Finisher: US$1000
• 2nd Female Finisher: US$1000
• 2nd Relay Team Finisher: US$1500

Karen Bown describes the event and its partners and sponsors, “We are so blessed to be working with the cities of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Police and countless NJ Beach Patrols. Through everyone’s efforts, we opened the community’s eyes to two important aspects of this race:

• The Whelan Whales program; free swimming lessons and water safety to the children of Atlantic City
• The historical significance of this race to the community and generations of lifeguard families

This festival is a great time to get the whole family involved, introduce the love of open water racing to youngsters, and see some great swimmers compete in this legendary event. All proceeds and fundraising from the festival will help support Green Whales and the Atlantic County youth in their swimming and water safety success

She reminds the athletes of the difficulty of the swim that starts and finishes at the Atlantic City High School Boat House 3401, “This is an open water swim festival; the current, tide, and wave conditions are unpredictable. The water temperature is expected to be in the range of 70-79°F (21-26°F). The event will go on as planned regardless of rain. In the event of extreme weather, the race committee will make a decision on whether the race will go on as planned.”

Registration is open until May 15th. There is a maximum of 24 athletes in the water at anytime. All relay teams types can be made up of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 athletes. Each athlete will swim for one hour. The order of swimmers will be provided one week prior to the event and cannot be changed.

For more information on the August 9th event, visit To register, visit here.

Robin Taylor explains their motivation. “We do a lot for inner city children with our programs at Green Whales. In the past year, we taught swimming and water safety for over 500 children free of charge. We currently have 97 children in for 16 weeks leading up to summer.”

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Steven Munatones