Ashley Twichell Almost Beats the Boys at the 2018 Tiburon Mile

2018 RCP Tiburon Mile

The 2018 edition of the RCP Tiburon Mile is the 17th version of the annual open water swim in the San Francisco area where elite and recreational open water enthusiasts alike take to the water for a one-mile race between Angel Island and Tiburon at the entrance to the bays that give the region its name.

After no Tiburon Mile was held in 2017, the race returned for 2018, and Ashley Twichell won her 4th-straight Tiburon Mile women’s elite title.

This year’s race was a particularly fast year, and Twichell finished in 21:56, which was over 3 minutes ahead of her pace from the 2016 race.

Twichell was so fast, in fact, that she almost beat all of the men’s competitors, instead of the usual ‘most of them.’ She finished just a few steps (the Tiburon mile finishes with a very short run through the finish line) behind Zane Grothe, who won Pan Pacs gold in the 800 and silver in the 1500 in Tokyo two weeks ago, and has now twice dipped his toe into open waters (he also swam the 10k at Pan Pacs).

A video of the finish, with Twichell in the blue cap in the lead pack with the men:

Twichell was only another few seconds behind the men’s race winner Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands, who completed the mile 1st in 21:50, ahead of US National Teamer David Heron (21:51) and Ricardo Vargas (21:52). Earlier this month, Weertman won the European Championships in both the 10km open water swim and the team open water swim.

In addition to the winners, there were a few fun entries in the elite classification. That includes Kelsey Ditto, a former Stanford and Georgia All-American in the distance freestyle races and the 2010 Pac 10 Scholar Athlete of the Year; and Dutch sprinter Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the 5th-fastest woman ever over 50 meters.

Besides the elite competition, there were winners declared by age group, in both wetsuit and non-wetsuit competitions. The whole event was designed to race money for the charity Lifehouse, which has served the developmentally disabled since 1954. A mile is about 1609 meters, so needless to say Kromowidjojo didn’t place as highly here as she normally does in the 50, but it’s still fun to see athletes outside of their comfort zones.

Elite Race Results

Women’s mile – Top 10

  1. Ashley Twichell, 21:56
  2. Becca Mann, 22:09
  3. Rachele Bruni, 22:14
  4. Martina Dememme, 22:18
  5. Caroline Jousse, 22:46
  6. Steffanie Gillespie, 23:37
  7. Arianna ridi, 23:38
  8. Ceri Edwards, 26:29
  9. Kelsey Ditto, 27:13
  10. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 27:25

Men’s mile

  1. Ferry Weertman, 21:50
  2. David Heron, 21:51
  3. Ricardo Vargas, 21:52
  4. Zane Grothe, 21:56
  5. Alex Meyer, 23:26
  6. Akira Iomvardas, 23:40
  7. Michael Sheil, 23:44
  8. Gavin McGee, 23:51
  9. Sean Percin, 25:00
  10. Bobby Yribarren, 25:34

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PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

Lemme fix that for you.

She finished just a few “steps” behind Zane Grothe.

Boom, nailed it.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

One step, to be even more precise 😉

Reply to  martinR
2 years ago

She was pretty nonchalant on the finish too. If she’d just thrown a few elbows, she could have finished a few places ahead.

2 years ago

I would love to see a 1 mile race be an Olympic race. I am a huge open water fan, but it is tough to watch a 10 or 25 k on tv

Reply to  Lpman
2 years ago

feeling the same here ….

Bubble Enthusiast
2 years ago

I don’t see the big deal. Should we hold her to a higher pedestal because she’s a woman?? I thought we all wanted equality? This should be a normal thing. I say get rid of speration between sexes and we all compete together!

Justin Wright
Reply to  Bubble Enthusiast
2 years ago

Unpopular opinion: I say, give it time. Swimming itself is a very young sport and womens swimming is even more undeveloped. I think that eventually, womens swimming will catch up and it could become (at the very least comparable) between all sexes!

Reply to  Justin Wright
2 years ago

weak troll (hopefully) gotta say..
and btw its comparable already

Justin Wright
Reply to  anonymoose
2 years ago

Not an attempt at trolling, but clearly an unpopular opinion. Is mens swimming and womens swimming really comparable? As long as we keep training women to have the mindset that they can’t do what guys do in training or in competition, we will keep holding them back. People like Katie prove it’s possible, and others will eventually follow suit. But you have seriously got to be trolling me if you truly believe it’s close to comparable right now.

Reply to  Justin Wright
2 years ago

please tell me this is the Justin Wright that just won the 200 fly at Nationals

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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