Competitive swimmer Placak decided on his 40th birthday to give something back to his sport. The gift? A one-mile open-water race from San Francisco Bay's Angel Island to the dock in his hometown of Tiburon. Since its debut in 1999, the RCP Tiburon Mile (rcptiburonmile.com) has become one of the world's premier open-water swims, drawing Olympians like Amanda Beard and Brooke Bennett. Some 800 racers are expected at this year's event, September 16. Placak, 48, also uses the race to raise funds for the Special Olympics; to date, his efforts have brought the national organization more than half a million dollars.
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