There's a unique event coming to Smyrna next weekend, an Aquathlon.

Get ready for an unusual, and exciting, athletic event in the Smyrna area next weekend! It's time for the Fifth Annual Julie's Race Aquathlon to be held at Lake Como, and through the streets of Smyrna on Friday, July 19th.

Event organizer Jess Manning said Julie's Race is unique in that it features two swimming events sandwiched around a running event. "Many of our triathlons involve running, cycling and swimming, but we chose to do the two swimming events with the 5K race in the middle," he said.

The event is held each year in honor of Jess's late sister Julie, and the proceeds benefit a scholarship fund that has been formed in her name to help send children and parents thru the ISR (infant swimming resource) swim course. You can learn more about this life-saving program at

Manning said the number of participants has varied over the years, depending on how many high school students participate. "We usually have 60-75 athletes, but when we have more high school teams, the number increases to well over 100 contestants. We've had athletes from the age of eleven up to about 75," he said.

The participants come from all over the state, including groups from as far away as the Delaware Swim & Fitness Club in the Hockessin area.

The event features a ¼ mile swim starting at the beach at Lake Como. Wetsuits are allowed and recommended.

After the first swim, participants will then complete a 5K race on an out-and-back loop course through downtown Smyrna. Finally, the athletes will compete in a 1/8 mile swim, again starting at Lake Como.

Manning said this event sanctioned by the USAT. For more information about the race, contact: