The inaugural Crippen Cup 10K Marathon Invitational is slated for this coming Saturday, April 12th, with the race taking off from Fort Myers, Florida at the Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club.
The event honors open water star Fran Crippen, who died during an international open water race four years ago.
The Crippen Cup will split up $10,000 in prize money between the top 4 male and female finishers. The field is set to include big American open water names like Emily Brunemann, Christine Jennings, Ashley Twichell, Arthur Frayler, Alex Meyer, Chip Peterson and Joey Pedraza, plus a host of international swimmers from Europe and Canada.
For Canadian athletes, this event will serve as the selection race for the national open water Pan Pacs team. (The American selection meet is Open Water Nationals in June).
The addition of another USA Swimming open water event with monetary prizes is a notable development in the professional open water landscape. The U.S. seems to be on the road to creating a more professional-level circuit for open water swimmers, something Europe and Canada have with the FINA Open Water Grand Prix circuit and FINA 10km Marathon World Cup program.