The Fort Myers Estero Open Water Festival will be hosting the first annual Crippen Mile Open Water Swim at Fort Myers Beach on Saturday, June 11, 2011. The inaugural race has been created to remember and celebrate the life of Fran Crippen, who tragically passed away in a World Cup Open Water 10k Race in Dubai, U.A.E. on October 23, 2010.
The race will benefit the newly created Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, established by the Crippen family to “empower athletes who exemplify the principles Fran embodied as they journey to elevate themselves, by providing aid and advocating for safe competitive environments.” The one mile race will embody Fran’s love for the sport of open water swimming and his eagerness to compete at his highest potential.
Fran was a beloved member of the USA Swimming family, and a proud alumni of Germantown Academy in Philadelphia, Pa. and the University of Virginia. He is remembered for his outgoing, charismatic and mentoring personality, as well as his incredible accomplishments in the pool and open water. Fran was the silver medalist in the 10k at the Pan Pacific Championships in August, he earned a bronze medal in the 10k at the 2009 World Championships, and he won a gold medal in the 10k at the 2007 Pan American Games as well as in numerous national championships.
The event will be open to the public; individuals of all age and ability level are encouraged to participate in the fun and competitive “drag race” in the Gulf of Mexico waters off Fort Myers Beach. More information about registering for the race will be available later this month at www.elevation-athletics.com and www.openwaterfestival.org.
The Crippen Mile will set the highest standard for water safety in open-water swimming, as this is a pillar of the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation. The race director and support staff in Fort Myers have demonstrated their ability to host events with the utmost safety precautions, and this race will be the new standard.
Olympic athletes and Fran’s close friends and family will be at the event to celebrate with all participants after the race. There will be awards, autographs and dining on the beach as we look to enjoy the sport of swimming and commemorate Fran.
The event is being hosted in conjunction with USA Swimming, PMG Sports and Elevation Athletics. To sponsor this event, please contact Taylor Baughman at [email protected]. For volunteer information, please contact Ryan Hurley at [email protected].