ocean-swimMembers of the Jersey Shore Tri Gals take to the ocean on a training swim Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

Twenty years ago, in the early days of the Danskin Triathlon, it used to take weeks or months for the event to get fully booked with participants.

This year, all 1,000 slots for the Sandy Hook edition of the swim-bike-run women’s series were filled in a matter of hours.

The event, and the clubs that feed racers into it, just keep growing, said Fair Haven’s Pam Mancuso, self-appointed “queen” and co-founder of the  Jersey Shore Tri Gals. The club, launched in 2004 with just four members, now has some 130, 65 of whom will be in the Danskin race.

“A couple of months ago, half these women wouldn’t even put a toe in the water,” Mancuso said of a group of about 18 women getting ready to join her on a training swim in rough surf at Sea Bright earlier this week. “Now, they’re attacking the water.”

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