Doug Woodring Honored By International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame

Courtesy of Ned Denison, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Who knew that diving among a bunch of plastic trash would become the catalyst for Doug Woodring to eventually be nominated and voted in as an Honor Administrator in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame? That is the long road that Doug has taken from diving along the coastlines of Asia to being inducted in the Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” asked Steven Munatones.

Doug is brimming with ideas – and, very importantly, he ties his creativity and energy with a can-do attitude and expands his ideas locally until they blossom globally.

Doug, a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, worked in Asia for over 20 years in multiple industries while being at the forefront of technology within those sectors, mainly related to the environment and new media platforms. In Hong Kong, while at Merrill Lynch Asset Management in 1998, he proposed the company’s first global environmental technology fund which was later launched in 2001. When he worked in Japan for one of the world’s largest fishing companies, his inner drive for ocean protection was fired up.

Ultimately, Doug is at the forefront of envisioning and organizing grassroots ocean swimming and marine protection activities with grandiose goals
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Ned Denison, chairperson of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame explains why Woodring was selected as an Honor Administrator in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, “Doug has created a local open water community in Hong Kong and two marathon swims with growing attendance. These are directly connected to his global efforts to clean up the open water – which is critical not only for our sport, but for our lives.

The 15 km Cold Half Extreme Marathon Swim and the 15 km Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim include both solo and relay categories. In 2006, Doug started the 15 km Clean Half in Hong Kong, which is one of the few 10 km+ races and few group relay races throughout Asia. Approximately 120 solo swimmers to date have competed in the Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim – most in just skins.

In 2011, Doug co-founded the Cold Half with Shu Pu, one of the only cold water races in Asia that can be used for training and preparation of longer marathon swims like the English Channel. Approximately 40 solo swimmers to date have competed in the Cold Half Extreme Marathon Swim – 80% in wetsuits. Skin swims by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Attila Mányoki are helping to encourage local swimmers to shed their wetsuits.

His lower distance events serve as local feeders for the major international marathons. This includes the 2.2 km Sheko Challenge with 3,400 swimmers to date, The Five, a 5 km point-to-point race around a peninsula, and the 5 km Repulse Bay Triple where International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honorees Marcos Díaz, and Trent Grimsey swam in these events further helping with publicity.


Doug is the Co-Founder and Director of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, its programs, idea generation and innovation. This non-government organization is one of the only non-profit organizations in the world that has worked with both the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank on plastic pollution issues in ocean waters. Doug is one of the ten most influential individuals in this area and the only one outside the Western countries.

Its key programs include the following:

* Global Alert App/Platform that allows anyone in the world to report trash hotspots in the world’s waterways or coastlines, including underwater for reefs/divers. It was selected by CEO Magazine as one of the top eight apps changing the world for the better.

* Oceanic Big Five is a global cleanup program for the top five sports users of the ocean: swimmers, surfers, paddlers, divers and sailors.

* Plasticity Forum is a business event focused on the future of plastic and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, materials, recycling and scaled solutions for a world without the waste footprint. Doug founded and launched this event at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012, and has since held it in Hong Kong in 2013, New York in 2014, Portugal in 2015, Shanghai in 2017, London in 2017, Dallas in 2017 and Los Angeles in 2017, with Sydney planned in October 2020
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Woodring will be honored at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremony that will be held in New York City on May 2nd 2020.

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