Letters

Swim Discrimination

Jul 11, 2018

To the Editor:

On Saturday, July 28, the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol will host the 10th Annual Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim. I believe that I have participated in eight of the previous nine swims, but sadly I will not participate in this one. This is because while I cannot believe that the organizers intend to discriminate against older swimmers, in fact they do.

I swim in many, many open water races. Typically prizes are awarded to the top male and top female finishers in age-group categories with a five-year span: 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, and so on as far as is necessary. For reasons that they don’t seem to want to explain to me, the Ocean Mile organizers use these generally accepted categories only up to the age of 70. They then lump all of us over the age of 70 into one group. That means, for example, that an 84-year-old male could be competing against a 70-year-old male, giving the 84-year-old very little chance of success.

As a 75-year-old last year, I was fortunate enough to beat some younger men. And perhaps as a 76-year-old this year I would be successful again. But I won’t try because this policy discriminates against older swimmers.

Rob Madell

Barnegat Light

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