Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim

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Don Burns, namesake of the Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim
The Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim (or the Don Burns Mile) is an annual ocean swim held annually in Corona del Mar, California in August. The charity swim, also known as the Don Burns Mile or the Corona del Mar 1 Mile Don Burns Swim is organized by the Newport Beach lifeguards and is a summertime classic in Southern California that annually draw a large field of participants from newcomers to Olympians.

Its namesake is Don Burns and it is part of the Newport Beach Ocean Swims.


Don Burns

Don Burns was a high school teacher and coach in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District for 31 years, and he was a Newport Beach lifeguard for 47 years. Burns is a member of Millennium Hall of Fame (inducted 2000) and was well-known for being an easygoing gentleman with great dignity who left a legacy of Nice Guys Finish First.

Swim Course

The Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim is held at Big Corona Beach at Corona del Mar State Beach. Check-In is at Lifeguard Tower #3 – next to the jetty.

The course starts from the beach next to the Corona del Mar jetty. Athletes swim to buoy 100 yards offshore and down coast past spectacular cliffside homes and beautiful rocky coastline to the secluded cove of Little Corona. The swimmers round buoys on their right shoulder, return upcoast to the first buoy, and swim to an onshore finish at the starting line.

Directions to Corona del Mar State Beach

Directions: From the 405 Freeway of the San Joaquin Tollway (the 73) in Orange County, take the MacArthur exit and follow it towards the ocean to Pacific Coast Highway. Turn left (south) and follow the streets in alphabetical order to Marguerite. (Bonus if you notice that the streets are named after flowers!) Starbucks and Brueggers are on your right at Goldenrod. Turn right at Marguerite and right again at Ocean Blvd. Drive down the large driveway to the City parking lot, $15, or park on the streets above and walk down.

Entry Fees

Registration with a T-Shirt is US$25 (or US$45 for both swims). Souvenir T-Shirts are US$10.

Donations are accepted for the Don Burns Scholarship.


All swimmers must have a current U.S. Masters Swimming registration card. U.S. Masters Swimming rules govern both races. The race is organized and promoted by Nadine Turner.

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