MIMS selection process – official report

This is interesting. Ned Denison, member of the MIMS selection committee, posted the following “inside scoop” on the selection of the field for the 2011 swim. From the Channel Swimmers chat group:

Last year I reported from “inside” the committee to help you all understand how the selection process worked for the 2010 solo swim. Time to update you – a year later.  The goal is simply to de-mystify the process for future solo applicants.

The application process for Manhattan is not simple !   It takes a few hours to complete a swimmer profile and upload evidence of swims and write an essay.  The earlier one starts the more time you have to ask questions and get help. So…the final date was announced in advance and the applicants scheduled time to get up early or stay up late or take an hour or so off work (depending on their location in the world!)

  1. The first 15 applications received were very qualified, had no information outstanding, met all the diversity requirements and were automatically selected.
  2. Another four were automatically accepted out of the next 14 completed applications to help fully meet the diversity criteria. The candidates could then see on the site that THEY WERE IN !!
  3. After the site had been open 1 hour, 45 enrollments had been submitted and 30 still required additional action by the applicants. 47 enrollments were receive in total before the enrollment was manually turned off
  4. The committee then met a few days later to discuss the how to fill the remaining 13 slots. Originally was suppose to be 7, but a decision was made to expand the field due to the demand – but not to have a waitlist.
  5. The committee then filled the remaining 13 spots out from the next 16 applications received.  The difference between acceptance or not mostly came down to order of applicants completed, recent long cold swim experience and the speed required to complete the course in the maximum time.  Some consideration was given to applicants from the previous year – did they “step up” to a longer qualification swim for example.
  6. The remaining applicants, most with exceptional resume’s were not accepted.

These decisions were not easy for the committee and several – VERY QUALIFIED – swimmers didn’t get in.

Advice for future applicants:

  • Create a resume of long open water swims – and make sure that you show good activity in the year before you want to swim Manhattan.  HInt – you will be in the water in Manhattan for 8 hours (plus or minus a few!).
  • Complete a swim of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 hours to be a strong candidate.  This might be in a pool, a warm lake or a cold sea….the longer, colder and and more open water the stronger your record.
  • Take the application process very seriously and invest 4 hours in the summer BEFORE the swim – so you complete 95% of your application months in advance
  • Get yourself and your crew organized for the day the applications open. Hey you will need to get all of you organized for the swim anyways in the future – so call it practice!

All the best,

2 thoughts on “MIMS selection process – official report”

    1. It wasn’t so bad, actually. I think it’s a pretty fair & effective process to find people who (a) have the necessary level of desire and commitment, and (b) can finish the swim. Aside from that, they don’t seem to care how fast you are, as long as you can make the cut-off times for the tide cycles. And I like that they post these “inside scoop” things – makes it seem less like a secret society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.