The Crew

The Crew

No ultra-marathon swim is possible without support – and the selflessness of a marathon swim crew is one of the most beautiful aspects of our sport.

I couldn’t be happier with the motley collection of folks supporting my Catalina swim. The sheer aquatic talent and marathon swimming experience on the Bottom Scratcher this Wednesday night will be something to behold! I’ll be in good hands.



Anne Cleveland (CCSF observer)
– IMSHOF inductee
– double English Channel crossing, 2004






Barb Held (CCSF observer)
– Catalina 2010
– Tampa, MIMS 2011






Grace V. (paddler/pace swimmer)
– winner, 12.6-mi Distance Swim Challenge





Neil V. (paddler)






Garrett M. (crew)
– washed-up former Yale water polo player






Rob D. (crew)






Mark W. (crew)
– 2008 Olympian, 10K open-water






Amanda H. (crew)
– MIMS solo, 2009/2010



Race Report: Great Hudson River Swim (belated)

Race Report: Great Hudson River Swim (belated)

On a whim in late May, three weeks before MIMS, I flew out to New York on a Friday evening, woke up the next morning and did the Great Hudson River Swim. The first race of the NYC Swim series, the GHRS is a quick 1.6-mile dash down the Hudson. I had a free hotel night expiring soon, found a cheap flight, and had an itch for some early-season racing. So I figured, what the hell. Perhaps I’d even gain some immune-system benefit from a quick dip in the Hudson before MIMS?…


Crewing for Cliff

Crewing for Cliff

This past week I had the timely opportunity to crew (as a pace swimmer) for fellow MIMSer Cliff Crozier on his Catalina Channel crossing. Timely because my own Catalina swim is scheduled for exactly a week after Cliff’s (August 24-25). A chance to help a fellow marathon swimmer, and also conduct a “dry run” for my own swim a week later? Where do I sign up?

Kevin the Kayaker at Doctor's Cove

It was a valuable experience. Unlike Tampa or MIMS (my two other big swims this year), Catalina is a full-blown channel swim – in the open ocean, with volatile, unpredictable conditions; in 3,000 feet of water that’s home to all manner of marine life, including white sharks. Catalina swims also generally take place in the middle of the night – starting around midnight and finishing mid- to late-morning. It’s tough to swim 21 miles when your body wants to be sleeping. Swimming at night can be unnerving.

I got to experience all these things without the pressure of having to swim the full 21 miles myself. And I got to observe the process of a Catalina swim from a crew-member’s perspective – which, I hope, will help things go smoothly for my own crew next week.…