2nd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival - POSTPONED until 2021

Sun August 9, 2020 Atlantic City, NJ US 08401 Directions

55th Annual Around the Island Marathon - INDIVIDUAL

$1,000 6:00AM EDT - 7:00PM EDT
13 spots left. Registration ends August 9, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT

55th Annual Around the Island Marathon - BEACH PATROL RELAYS

$1,000 6:00AM EDT - 7:00PM EDT
42 spots left. Registration ends August 9, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT

55th Annual Around the Island Marathon - RELAY (NON-Lifeguard)

$1,500 6:00AM EDT - 7:00PM EDT
42 spots left. Registration ends August 9, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT
Race Website

Additional race information can be found at http://greenwhales.org.


2nd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival & 55th Around The Island™ Swim

Postponed Until 2021

Dear Friends of the Jim Whelan Open Water Festival and Around The Island™ Swim,

Completing a 22.75 mile marathon open water swim requires continued discipline and rigorous training.  However, maintaining the critical aerobic endurance in the months leading up to the event in August of this year is posing a challenging to our athletes due to extended COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.  Many activities that are part of training, such as swimming at aquatic centers and going to the gym, face an indefinite uncertainty.

As the length of time public health guidelines continue to be extended, difficult decisions need to be made with regards to large-scale events.  And as responsible event organizers, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our athletes, volunteers, and spectators needs to be at the forefront of every decision made.  With this in mind, the planning committee has unanimously voted to postpone the 2nd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival, featuring the 55th Around The Island™ Swim, until 2021. 

We are already working with the City of Atlantic City to secure a new date which we hope to communicate soon.  For more specific information how this postponement affects you, please read our detailed letters for athletes & coaches, sponsors, and the general public.  Of course, any additional questions can be sent to jwopenwater@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm towards the Jim Whelan Open Water Festival, the historic Around The Island™ Swim, and Green Whales, Inc.  Please continue to follow our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds—and visit jwopenwater.org for updates along the way!

Race Details

The 2nd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival is bringing the 55th Annual Around the IslandTM SWIM (22.75 miles) to Atlantic City, NJ hosted by Green Whales, Inc. In 2019, the inaugural Jim Whelan Open Water Festival successfully resurrected this historic swim for its 54th installment in honor of the late Jim Whelan; a former NJ State Senator, Mayor of Atlantic City, member of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, Atlantic City teacher, and Atlantic City High School Swim Coach. 

The Around the IslandTM Swim Marathon current record holder, as documented on marathonswimmers.org, remains Stéphane Gomez, from France, set in 2004 with a time of 6:37.09. The winners from 2019 were:

  • First male and overall winner: William “Bill” Leonard, from Canada, at 8:23:27
  • First relay: Swim RVA Hammerheads, Steven “Craig” Dunbar and Teresa “Tess” Andres from the United States, at 9:29:56
  • First female: Charlotte Brynn, from the United States, finishing at 9:31:28

The 55th Around the IslandTM Swim Marathon will bring a $10,500 purse to its participants with additional prizes based on mileage and egress points.

  • 1st Male Finisher: $2000
  • 1st Female Finisher: $2000
  • 1st Relay Team Finisher: $3000
  • 2nd Male Finisher: $1000
  • 2nd Female Finisher: $1000
  • 2nd Relay Team Finisher: $1500

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 our efforts, those of our partners, and the support of our sponsors 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, Inc. and the Atlantic County youth in their swimming and water safety success!

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