I woke up Sunday not knowing whether the Park to Park 2 Mile Hudson
River Swim would take place as the night before there were
thunderstorms. Their website said it was on, so I mentally started
I had Todd and Ila over for breakfast on my roof as the start of the
race was 11:45. I made us bacon and eggs with strawberries and bagels
on the side with… of course… Cafe Bustelo! Come to think of it
Cafe Bustelo should sponsor me.
This race was the final qualifier to make the Liberty Island Swim.
Todd was already in and our plan was that he would swim in front of me
and I was to draft him to increase my speed. Plan in order we set out
to the start at the new Harlem Piers Park on 125th and the water. We
checked in and surveyed the water. The current was definitely still
moving out to sea (the opposite direction we needed to be going) and
we were all little worried the Ebb wouldn’t cease in time. We geared
up and Ila set out to the finish with ours tuff. She is our number one
supporter and we totally love having her cheer us on.
While we were waiting to set off who shows up? Danny! He was on a run
and spotted us. What a small world NYC can be at times!
We were now lined up in race number order ready to enter the water. I
had made friends with all my surrounding swimmers and we were
exchanging stories. The sun was out and it was going to be a beautiful
swim. I jumped in the soup second! it was an honor. We all swam out a
bit and once all 200 of us were in it they sounded the gun. Todd and I
began our mission.
This was my second open water swim and the difference between this one
and the first was night and day. I was really having fun splashing
around out there. The other thing that was weird was that I had no
concern that we were attempting a 2 mile swim, the same (more or less)
distance used in the Ironman Triathlon which is my end goal in 2
My goggles were acting up which was quite annoying. We took little 5
second breaks here and there for Todd to correct my form and tell me
to get moving, he was in full coach form. I was plugging away as hard
as I could and wasn’t really tired. It was a great feeling mixed with
disappointment as well. Even though I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t utilizing
my full potential (as Todd would discuss with me after the race). This
messes with my competitive nature because out on a bike or running I
can really excel, but I’m still a rookie out here in open water.
As we neared the finish Todd went ahead to finish in style with a
sprint. As I came in after my hands hit sand, yes a beach, in
Manhattan! As I got my feet I fell over a little. It’s a very funny
feeling ending a long swim… it’s like… you stand up and are
instantly drunk for like 60 seconds. Then, your muscles and
equilibrium come back to you, its all quite silly as you can see from
Ila took some shots of us and we made our way to the sun drenched
grass and change and regroup. I knew I hadn’t made the Liberty Island
Swim, but that was okay as we just accomplished a 2 Mile open water
battle. Todd tried to see if there was another way to get me in the
Liberty, but we found out you have to be elite because of the currents
and I wasn’t there yet.
The three of us set out in search of food. We remembered that Dinosaur
BBQ was back by the start and made our way in that direction. I have
never been to Dinosaur, but let me tell you BBQ lovers, go there! It
was fantastic and more reasonably priced then the other Manhattan BBQ
locations. We were so hungry; we ate everything on our plates! It was
then that the sleepiness started to set in and to quote Todd, “Thank
We took a cab back downtown and parted ways.
I showered and then hopped on my bike to go to Central Park to meet up
with Ben and Tess. It was 5 PM by now and I was very late. I lasted
another few hours and then couldn’t fight off my sleepiness anymore.