Today I competed in one final open water race to end my summer, the Spuyten Duvil 10K on the Hudson River. It was such a beautiful day for many a reason!
1.Swimming with some of my Wild Bunch family
I got to swim and compete with three of my amazing teammates (past and present)! My marathon swimming training partner, Abby Bergman. My swim-wife, fellow senior, and apartment mate, Abby Onos! And Emily Lane, my captain from my sophomore year at Smith who mothered/mentored me as an emerging distance swimmer three years ago. All three of these women gave me energy and reminded me why Smith is such a special place~~it’s full of tenacious, strong women!
2. Meeting the legends David & Clare Barra and Rondi Davies
Another huge highlight of my day was getting to meet David & Clare Barra and Rondi Davies! For those of you in the open water swimming world especially from the East Coast, these names are well-known. For those of you who may not be familiar—David and Rondi organize the 8 Bridges (120 mile) swim, along with many other events and crossings. David is also the person who (via email) told me about the P2P and recommended it as a swim I should do and Rondi helped me look at tidal charts to pick the date of my swim! In 2012 David became one of the only five or six people to have done it at the time, while Rondi crewed for him and other swimmers that day! Clare Barra, in addition to just being awesome and also married to David, is a 2002 Smith College Ada Comstock scholar!
They ran one of the most fun and well-organized events I’ve ever done. It was a great day full of great people and I am glad I got to participate!
3, Swimming in the mighty Hudson
This swim had lots of exciting firsts for me! I have never swum in a river (let alone raced in one). I have never raced in water that was over 72 degrees—today it was 79 (toasty!!). I have never swum with a 1mph current assist (you could really feel the power and surge of the river with you). I have never swum by a city skyline (Manhattan–beautiful and awe-inspiring). And I’ve never won a race overall, beating both men and women!
This summer has been transformative, empowering, challenging, and rewarding. Open water swimming has given and taught me so much. It renewed my love of the water and for the sport of swimming. It has introduced me to amazing people and new places. It has allowed me to push my limits and achieve things I never thought possible. Now I am turning my attention back to the pool for my last college swim season but I know that more open water swimming (marathon and sprint) is in my future.<3