IMSHOF HISTORY & AWARD
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 and Kevin Murpy continued as the non-executive Honorary Chair . 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. Steven Muñatones joined Dale in 2003 and 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.
2011 – 2014
The IMSHOF was an independent non-profit organization, maintaining a close working relationship with the ISHOF. Christopher Guesdon joined Dale and Steven in 2009 to manage the selection process, the selector list (call the Board of Directors) was expanded and names published. Starting in the UN in New York in 2011 much larger/more formal induction ceremonies were held annually. Ned Denison joined after this to assemble the Honoree list, contact details and first newsletters. IMSHOF stopped the "Certificate of Merit" and "Record a Swim" programs as they diluted the branding of IMSHOF Honorees.
2014 to Present
In 2014, the IMSHOF once again joined the ISHOF as a formal division of its organization and all the previous organization structures ended. 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.
The Dale Petranech Award for Services to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
This award was created in 2016 to honor Dale Petranech for decades of service to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Petranech is a dual inductee in both the IMSHOF and the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor. As a marathon swimmer, Petranech previously held the record as the oldest solo swimmer across the Catalina Channel and has served for nearly 50 years in various capacities at all levels of the sport, local, regional, national and international. Recipients to date: