This coming Sunday I am wrapping up my 2017 marathon swim season with 20 Bridges. For those of you who aren’t familiar, 20 Bridges is a 28.5 mile, circumnavigation swim of Manhattan Island. Yes, you can in fact swim in the water around Manhattan. Yes, you can get sick from swimming in the water depending on if it has rained recently which can increase sewage and decrease water quality. But don’t worry, I’ll be fine. If I can swim across the Cape Cod Bay having thrown up for the first 4 hours chumming the water for all the Great White sharks to come and find me, possible NYC sewage is not going to deter me. Welcome to the psyche of an open water swimmer.
Quick side note: I decided that instead of writing individual recaps of SCAR and Catalina, I am going to write one long summer recap that encompasses all the swims I did so keep an eye out for that.
Back to 20 Bridges—this is one of the triple crown swims of open water. The other two being the English Channel and Catalina. The swim is run by David Barra and Rondi Davies who are power houses in the open-water race-organizing world. They organize many other swims including 8 Bridges, the 120 mile, 7 day series down the Hudson River. I am looking forward to what I’m sure will be an extremely well-organized and exceptional swim.
This swim is unique for lots of reasons. For one, unlike most open water swims that look like this for the most part:
20 Bridges looks like this:
Pretty amazing. ^^
20 Bridges is also different from some OWM swims because you apply, have to be selected to swim, and then are slotted on a day with a field of swimmers with maximized diversity (nationality, age, gender).It is a swim that is meant to bring together a diverse field of swimmers and build bridges (get it 😉 ) across the world in the open water community.
To follow along as we all make our way around Manhattan check out: https://track.rs/20Bridges/ each swimmer will have their own spot tracker so you’ll be able to see our differently colored dots plotting along.
Also if you hadn’t already guessed, the reason the swim is called 20 Bridges is because you swim under 20 bridges during the course of the circumnavigation. So in honor of the 20 bridges I present to you 20 quotes that encapsulate what open water marathon swimming has taught me. These are quotes that I think about while I swim as well as pieces of wisdom that I find applicable to this incredible sport and to life.
Hudson River (date built/length):
1. George Washington Bridge (1931/1,450.85 meters)
Harlem River (date built/length):
2. Spuyten Duyvil Bridge (1899/186 meters)
3. Henry Hudson Bridge (1936/673 meters)
4. Broadway Bridge (1962/170.08 meters)
5. University Heights Bridge (1908/82 meters)
6. Washington Bridge (1888/723.9 meters)
7. Alexander Hamilton Bridge (1963/724 meters)
8. High Bridge (1848/600 meters)
9. 18. Macombs Dam Bridge (1895/774 meters)
10. 145th Street Bridge (1905/489 meters)
11. Madison Avenue Bridge (1910/577 meters)
12. Park Avenue Bridge (1954/100 meters)
13. Third Avenue Bridge (1898/853.44 meters)
14. Willis Avenue Bridge (1901/979 meters)
15. Triborough Bridge (1936/230 meters)
16. Wards Island Bridge (1951/285.6 meters)
East River (date built/length):
17. Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (1909/1,135 meters)
18. Williamsburg Bridge (1903/2,227.48 meters)
19. Manhattan Bridge (1909/2,089 meters)
20. Brooklyn Bridge (1883/1,825 meters)
Stay posted and follow the swim via: https://track.rs/20Bridges/ and follow me on instagram: lizacummings for live swim updates on Sunday!