Time to Register for Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim

By David Biggy | Jul 03, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Barnegat Light — It’s probably quite unusual for somebody to show up to Long Beach Island and swim for a mile in the ocean for the first time, particularly with hundreds of others competitors. But that’s what Daniel Galarza did late last July. However, Galarza did one better. He won the Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim, topping the 294-swimmer field, which included a whole bunch of veteran lifeguards who swim the Atlantic on a frequent basis. Still, the Pace University swimmer from Edison is 1-for-1 in an ocean swim.

Of course, whether he’ll be back for the race remains to be seen. But that shouldn’t stop anybody else from registering for this year’s competition, hosted by the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol and tentatively slated for Saturday, July 27, weather and piping plovers permitting.

“The 27th currently is race day, but we have a piping plover situation that may throw a wrench in the works,” said race director John Schulze, who noted a specific piping plover nest on the 22nd Street beach and how the hatchlings may impact beach patrol operations during the coming weeks.

With the Ocean Mile Swim course set to start at the 30th Street beach and end at 16th Street, the race may not be dealt a death blow, so it’s best to get your registration in early. As of July 1, about 365 of the 400 spots were available, but positions typically fill up fast as the race draws closer.

It 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. When the swim ends at 16th Street, there’s another short run to the finish line.

At the start of the event, two groups will be launched three minutes apart – one heat consisting of male competitors, the second for female competitors. 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 – at register.compuscore.com/barnegatlightoceanmileswim – will continue through 6:30 on Friday, July 26, with no race-day registration this year. The registration fee is $30 per swimmer. Competitors must check in at the 16th Street beach from noon to 6 p.m. on race day. Wetsuits are prohibited.

An awards celebration takes place on the beach following the race. 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 and 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.

All race information is located on the registration website. Questions can be emailed to the race director at johnschulze@yahoo.com. —D.B.

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