Sunrise Rotary hosts world’s only OCEAN swimarathon at La Jolla Shores for global fight against polio

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By Steve Cross

Event Co-Chair

At the 2014 Global Swimarathon Sunday, Feb. 23 at La Jolla Shores, 49 swimmers covered three courses — the original 100-yard course parallel to the beach, an intermediate course, and the XL course to the tip of Scripps Pier.

The La Jolla Sunrise Rotary-sponsored event was a fundraiser for the global fight against polio, netting $10,000 for the cause this year. Polio is a crippling disease still endemic in three countries worldwide.

San Diego Lifeguards Aaron Estess and Gareth Chapman monitored the swimmers. The water temperature was 59-60 degrees and conditions were calm.

In 2012, La Jolla Sunrise Rotary (LJSR) was one of 64 clubs sponsoring a Swimarathon, and the only club to sponsor an ocean swimming event. This year, more than 500 clubs sponsored Swimarathons, however, LJSR remains the only ocean dip to date.

Earlier this year, the Gates Foundation announced it would match two-to-one all Rotary fundraising for End Polio Now. The matching is in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars pledged in prior years by the Gates Foundation.

Polio survivors Jim Poirier and Richard Dolmseth made the swim in La Jolla. Event coordinators Steve Cross and Barbara Held thanked the corporate sponsors who made this year’s event the most successful to date. Next year’s event: Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015.

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