With many marathon swim events canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Swim Around Charleston race is swimming against the tide.
The 10th edition of the 12-mile swim, from Remley’s Point in Mount Pleasant to the W.O. Thomas boat landing in the Ashley River, will go on as scheduled on Sunday, according to race founder and director Kathleen Wilson.
The race starts at 8:45 a.m. Sunday at Remley’s Point. Swimmers will cross Charleston Harbor, swim along and around the Charleston peninsula and up the Ashley River to the boat landing, just shy of I-526.
“In spite of a most challenging year, I felt it was critical to do everything I could to hold the event, given that the majority of marathon swim events had been canceled,” said Wilson, herself a noted marathon swimmer.
“In spite of training obstacles over these months, we have a record setting field of 40 swimmers coming in from about 22 different states,” Wilson said.
The race is geared to solo swimmers, but relay teams also may participate, allowing local swimmers who may not want to swim 12 miles to join in the race.
Wilson said this year’s field is a strong one, headlined by Alex Kostich, “one of the best open water swimmers in the world.”
Kostich is noted for his open-water swims around Bora Bora and Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean, and has won the La Jolla Rough Water Swim, St. Croix Coral Reef Swim, and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim multiple times since 1994.
Last year, Bob Tarr won the men’s event in 4 hours, 14 minutes and 23 seconds. Leigh Rey took the women’s event in 4:28.55.
Top swimmers are expected to arrive at the finish line at the W.O. Thomas boat landing between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, see swimaroundcharleston.org.
Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC