Younger women and older men frequently compete together in open water races. The competition can be close – and friendly of course – when the women are under 30 and the men are over 40. Both age groups (women in their late teen years through their late 20s and men in their 40s and 50s) comprise significant segments on the open water swimming world from short to long distances.
The competition and camaraderie between the two demographic groups has been recently evident in the 24-mile (38.6 km) Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.
In 2014, 24-year-old Samantha Simon and 28-year-old Lisa Hertz beat 67-year-old Carl Selles and 54-year-old Arnie Bellini among the top swimmers. In 2013, 24-year-old Chelsea Nauta and 32-year-old Brooke Bennett beat 51-year-old Chris Burke and 55-year-old Mark Smitherman to take the top spots.
Yesterday, 26-year-old Emma Schaefer from Michigan beat 49-year-old Serbo Simeoni from Florda for the top spots in the women’s and men’s division. “It was a great day for a swim,” recalls Simeoni. “I learned that in a marathon swim of this distance you live and die by your crew. I had the best group of men helping me accomplish the first leg of my swimming journey. I thank Ron Collins, race director, for putting on a world-class event that made me a marathon swimmer. Next up, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.”
1. Emma Schaefer (26) 10 hours 32 minutes
2. Serbo Simeoni (49) 11 hours 10 minutes
3. Katie Scott (24) 11 hours 19 minutes
4. Katrin Walter (37) 11 hours 53 minutes
5. Maureen Montgomery (54) 11 hours 55 minutes
6. Neil Leyland (41) 11 hours 58 minutes
7. Steve Gruenwald (53) 12 hours 53 minutes
8. Katie Benoit (36) 12 hours 2 minutes
9. Andrew Truscott (34) 13 hours 11 minutes
10. Lesley Fanning (47) 13 hours 50 minutes
11. Andrew Heinrich (43) 18 hours 9 minutes
12. Willy Blumentals (42)
1. Capital Punishment – 10 hours 58 minutes by Bill Sullivan, J. C. Boggs, Mark Wainwright, Karen Yankosky, Thomas Schwartz
2. The Northwest 2-5-3 Way – 11 hours 4 minutes by Patrick Carlisle, Katy Smith, Chad Hagedorn
3. Orangeburg Pirates – 11 hours 22 minutes by Franklin Fetzer, Gilbert Miller, Stacey Hughes, Jeremy Sanders, David Miller
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association