Ryan Bullock, Kathleen Hohwald Win 3-mile Naples Island Swim In Long Beach

Ryan Bullock, Kathleen Hohwald Win 3-mile Naples Island Swim In Long Beach

74 years after he won the 1947 Naples Island Swim, Dick Miller was scheduled to be the honorary starter of the summer classic in Long Beach, California.

37 years after she won the 1986 Naples Island Swim, Kaia Hedlund was the hands-on race director of the 500-yard, 1-mile and 3-mile races.

Just like the decades-long participation of Miller and Hedlund in the multi-race event, 37-year-old Ryan Bullock continues to add to his local legacy [see Top 25 results below]. Bullock won the race again, his second victory that was significantly faster than his 2019 swim in 51:50. Kathleen Hohwald, a 32-year-old backstroke specialist from Cornell University, hung with the top men in the lead pack throughout much of the race and ended up finishing fifth overall.

Dr. Mariusz Wirga followed Bullock, finishing 285th in 2 hours 21 minutes over the 3-mile course. “It was a much longer time than I was prepared to swim. I burned the most calories though since I keep a record – 2,322 – but don’t be jealous. The lifeguards on the boats were encouraging, particularly lifeguard Valerie, who stuck with me from minute 40 on when my head went underwater to stretch my calf and hamstring and was always within my sight providing encouraging words.

Dr. Wirga, medical director for the PsychoSocial Oncology program in the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and his Beat the Odds teammates all finished in a joint charity swim effort. “We raised is US$10,720 with 151 supporters. This money goes directly to the patients of the Todd Cancer Institute who experience financial toxicity. I received very strong humility, empathy, and endurance lessons. At 40 minutes, I got cramps going through all my lower limbs muscles and stayed with me for the duration of my swim with most of the time “uncomfortably numb” alternating with acute pain. At the finish, I could barely walk out on my own. [But] that is nothing in comparison to what our patients experience. We plan to do it again next year.”

Beat the Odds team at the Naples Island Swim left to right: Chris, Alex, Mariusz, Bridget, and Stevie (photo by Marta Niemierko)
  1. Ryan Bullock 50:57
  2. Alex Kostich 51:29
  3. Paul Reynolds 52:27
  4. Craig Nadel 53:22
  5. Kathleen Hohwald 53:22 (first female)
  6. Brandon Samaniego 53:38
  7. Kai Izquierdo 55:04 (second female)
  8. Colin Geer 55:08
  9. Tyler Fidler 55:58
  10. Jake Glick 56:03
  11. Sammie Hamilton 56:37 (third female)
  12. Danica Adams 56:44 (fourth female)
  13. Michael Sorenson 56:50
  14. Lexie Kelly 56:55 (fifth female, shown finishing above)
  15. Hank Wise 56:59 [shown finishing above hobbling in pain]
  16. Allison Arnold 56:59 (sixth female)
  17. Benjamin Soule 57:03
  18. Michael Lucero 57:04
  19. Robert Naruse 57:05
  20. Ekaterina Alyabyeva 57:08 (seventh female)
  21. Cara Davidoff 58:15 (eighth female)
  22. Brian Meyer 58:20
  23. Christian Castro 58:21
  24. Daniel Lenhart 58:38
  25. C. Scott Chaney 59:00

For more information on the event, visit here.

Photo by Patrick Holzhauer.

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Steven Munatones