What an exciting time to be a marathon swimmer in the northeast US!
Then there’s the recent spate of “record attempt” swims in the waters around New York City. In June, Liz Fry became the first person to complete a 35-mile “double Ederle” – from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, NJ and back. Last month, Lance Ogren took down the one-way Ederle record in spectacular fashion, shaving 58 minutes off the previous mark. Two days from now, David Barra will take on a double MIMS (twice around the island), in pursuit of Skip Storch‘s 2007 record of 20:56. And finally, at the end of September my MIMS nemesis Ollie Wilkinson (all in good fun, Ollie!) will race local NYC speedster Rondi Davies ‘round Manhattan, challenging Shelley Taylor-Smith’s legendary record of 5:45.
In the expedition swim category, I’m still in awe of Dave and Rondi’s 120-mile 8 Bridges Hudson River stage swim – surely a lock for an Open Water Performance of the Year nomination. Further north, Ray Gandy and Elaine Howley attempted to swim 50 miles in the Narragansett Bay – and made it most of the way despite challenging conditions. To the south, friend-of-the-blog J.C. Malick and three friends took on the 12.4-mile Trans-Delaware Bay swim. Lelane Rossouw-Bancroft set a new course record in the process. And finally, up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Phil White (of Kingdom Swim renown) brought 11 swimmers together to try the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog. Four made it, though the “search” for the lake monster Memphré proved (alas) unsuccessful.
For a region cursed with inconveniently cold water temperatures half the year, our Northeastern brethren manage impressively well. Where’s the Great Lakes region in this marathon swimming revival? Or California, for that matter? Time to step up your game!