The Official Website of International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame


The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

2019 Brighton AUS
unnamed (5)
2019 Ceremony


In August 1963, the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation was founded in Roberval, Québec, Canada for the dual purposes of bringing uniformity, safety and honesty to professional endurance swimming races, to serve as a depository of marathon swimming records, and a source of publicity for the sport.

The founders were representatives of swimming races in Argentina, Canada, the United States and the United Arab Republic.
James P. Toomey, director of the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim (New Jersey, USA) race, was elected as the Federation's first president, with Lois Fournier of Roberval's Traversee International du Lac St-Jean as vice-president, and Joe Grossman of Atlantic City as Secretary-Treasurer.

Race committees which became members were the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim, Traversee international du Lac St-Jean, Mar del Plata (Argentina) and Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda(Argentina) groups.

In 1963, races were held at all four of those locations, plus races at Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli (Italy) and in the Suez Canal, U.A.R., both of which were affiliated with the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, and independent races at Chicoutimi (Québec, Canada), Chicago (Illinois, USA), Trois-Rivières (Québec, Canada) and Toronto (Ontario, Canada).

IMSHOF founded and a panel of selectors (Commander Gerald Forsberg, OBE, RN of England, Buck Dawson of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida and Joe Grossman) named “classes” of six Honorees for each year from 1963 (when the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation began to collect paper based historical data on the sport) through 1970.

Commander Gerald Forsberg, OBE, RN continued to lead the organization and new Inductees were nominated and selected in consultation with an ad-hoc group of current honorees.

Dale Petranech was the Honorary Secretary. The selection was formalized using ballots and selector included a broader geographic representation and the first non-Inductees. Dale with help from the ISHOF organized the first ever IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies – modest events in Florida around the larger ISHOF annual event.

During this period Steven Munatones led the drive to move and expand the paper records to the web including and the first IMSHOF website. The decision in 2005 to include the 10k marathon swim in the Olympics provided further prestige to the sport and to the IMSHOF

The IMSHOF was an independent non-profit organization, maintaining a close working relationship with the ISHOF. Christopher Guesdon joined Dale and Steven to manage the selection process, the selector list was expanded and names published. Starting in the UN in New York in 2011 much larger/more formal induction ceremonies were held annually.

In 2015, the IMSHOF once again joined the ISHOF as a formal division of its organization. A larger, more formal Executive Committee now helps directs and manages the operation of the IMSHOF. A new website was created, tightly linked with with expanded biographies of all honorees with associated videos, photos, painting and/or drawings.
A Facebook page and Instagram operates and members are also contacted annually through email and newsletters. The induction ceremony in 2017 saw the largest assembly ever of 17 individual Honorees and 7 Honor Organizations.



Is awarded to elite Open Water swimmers

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Is awarded to accomplished Administrators of Open Water Events










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