Aquarium 5K and Grimaldo’s Mile (Brooklyn, NY)

Looking for an reason to get to New York City this summer? The Aquarium 5K and 1-Mile Swim (Saturday, June 27, 2009) and Grimaldo’grimaldos Mile (Sunday, August 9, 2009) are your perfect excuses. Each year, CIBBOWS (Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers) hosts several open-water races. CIBBOWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit group who puts on regular group open-water swims and supports maintaining and improving the water quality in New York City. The CIBBOWS website states that each of its swims highlights some aspect of a borough’s history. All races are USMS sanctioned.

For the June races, the water temperature is expected to be between 60 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water will heat up to 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit in August. CIBBOWS warns that there may be challenging currents (yeah!) and cautions that you may encounter random flotsam and jetsam, and possibly jellyfish in your swim. If you’re looking for more than a flat, warm lake swim, look no further.

The 5K is $45 to enter (until June 1), and $55 thereafter. If there’s room on race day, you can register for $75. Ten dollars of each entry is donated to the NY Aquarium. Wetsuits are allowed. From the entry form, the 5K course is a: “2.5K straight line open water course, running parallel to shore, with turnarounds at the Coney Island Pier and at the end of Brighton Beach. Race starts in front of NY Aquarium (West 8 Street). The course will be marked by buoys.”  You’ll need to arrive by 6 with a race start at 7.

Grimaldo’s Mile adds a twist to a typical open-water swim. You can wear a wetsuit, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also wear a costume, which will be judged in and out of the water. I’d like to see the photos from that! Buoys mark this one-mile, straight-line open-water course, which runs parallel to shore. The race begins at Coney Island and ends at Brighton Beach. Fees differ for each race “category” (wetsuit vs. costume) based on date, so check out the official entry form for more details.

2009GMpostcardThe 5K/1-mile races have a cap of 200, and Grimaldo’s Mile has a maximum of 400 swimmers, so don’t delay in getting your entries in.

For more information, head to the CIBBOWS race site. The photo above was taken by Scott Dunn at Grimaldo’s Mile in 2008. Be sure to check out more beautiful photography from last year’s race at


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