The 2011 Distance Swim Challenge, an ocean swim competition promoting healthy lifestyles, will be held in Santa Monica Bay between Manhattan Beach and Venice Beach Sunday, Aug. 21.

NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley, and two-time Olympic women’s soccer gold medalist Julie Foudy are scheduled to be on hand to welcome guests and recognize the achievements of Distance Swim Challenge participants.

The event is presented by the American Lung Association in California and OptimisSport.

Swim distances range from a 500-meter “fun swim” to 1.2-mile, 4.8-mile and 12.6-mile courses. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit nonprofit organizations Exceeding Expectations, SplashBall, Save the Team, and the American Lung Association in California.

Event organizers said that last year, Wiley learned to swim just 11 weeks before the event and successfully completed the 1.2-mile course. His efforts were lauded by CNN, ESPN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and others.

“Swimming is not just a recreational activity or a great source of physical conditioning, it’s also an activity that literally can save lives,” Wiley said.

Online registration for the challenge is open until Thursday, Aug. 18 at: www.distanceswimchallenge.com.

Participants who use code “2011DSCALA” will dedicate a portion of their registration fees to the American Lung Association in California.

Information on the American Lung Association in California, (800) 586-4872, or www.lungusa.org/california.

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