Sign Up and Take the Ocean Mile Swim Challenge on July 29

Jul 19, 2017
Photo by: Daniel McGee

Last year, nearly 300 swimmers took part in the Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim, and each one who finished did so in less than an hour, including 66-year-old hometown competitor Mariette Ackerman, the last to emerge from the Atlantic in just under 59 minutes, 20 seconds. For the eighth version of the event on Saturday, July 29, swimmers of all ages and skill levels will have the chance to challenge themselves yet again.

“One thing I get stoked about year after year is watching the swimmers at the finish,” said race director John Schulze. “We have a great crowd on the beach, and the cheering and support is so heartfelt. The look on the faces of each competitor is really special.”

Hosted by the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol, the Ocean Mile Swim begins at 6:30 p.m. with a short run at the 30th Street beach. Once in the water, swimmers follow a rectangle-like course from south to north, along with the typical summertime current. The swim ends at 16th Street, culminating with another short run to the finish line.

The parking ban on Central Avenue will be temporarily lifted for the race.

For the race, two groups will be launched three minutes apart – one group consisting of those expecting to finish the swim in 30 minutes or less, and another for first-timers and those who expect to take longer than 30 minutes to complete the course. The second group of swimmers will have three minutes docked from their overall time. Event-timing company CompuScore returns to provide the timing services for the race.

Online registration – via – will continue through noon on Friday, July 28, but race-day registration takes place 12 to 6 p.m. on 16th Street. The advance registration fee is $25 per swimmer. Race-day registration is $30 per swimmer. Competitors who register online must check in at the 16th Street beach before 6 p.m.

Last year, 19-year-old Penn State swimmer Robbie Dickson of Greenwich won the race in 17:11.60. Last year’s youngest competitors were 11-year-olds Lily Stauffer of Shillington, Pa. (157th overall in 28:18.30), Piper Pizzo of Souderton, Pa. (259th in 40:42.10) and Barnegat Light’s Logan Kline (266th in 46:22.18), while the oldest was 76-year-old Bill Barry of Towson, Md., who completed the race in 33:40.63 and finished 231st overall.

An awards celebration takes place on the beach following the race once results are compiled. The top three male and female age-group finishers receive medals. The age groups are 14 and younger, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70 and older.

The top three overall finishers receive plaques, as does a team champion, determined by place results of the top four swimmers for a team organization, which can include but are not limited to beach patrols, swim clubs, high schools or colleges.

Race safety will be provided by the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol, Barnegat Light First Aid Squad and the water rescue units of the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co. and Long Beach Township police.

David Biggy

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