How is the 8 Bridges 120 miles of the Hudson different then the English Channel swim?
First: the distance. The English Channel was 20-30 miles (as the crow flies 21 miles, but you are swimming in place fighting a current for a period of time). The Hudson is 120 miles. The Hudson River does have a favorable current. But, although it’s a river, it is not entirely downstream. Each day’s marathon swim begins with the ebb tide at one bridge and ends at the next. There is a bit of urgency to make the current so you don’t get pushed the wrong way.
Second: the body of water. The English Channel was an open body of water; the biggest shipping lane in the world. While swimming in the Channel there were many instances where I didn’t see land anywhere…you felt like you were stranded in the middle of the ocean going 2-3 miles an hour. The Hudson River, while wide, has land on both sides. This land consists of some of the most historic sights in America. In addition, we get to swim by the Statue of Liberty on July 3rd or 4th….dream come true.
Third: specific start and stop dates. Unlike the Channel where I had to wait 12 days for a good time to start, the 8 Bridges Hudson River swim is very specific. It is 7 days (with 2 built in days for potential electrical storms and high wind). On June 26th I start.
Fourth: fellow swimmers! During this swim, there are about 20 swimmers every stage. Not every swimmer is doing all 7 stages (only a few of us crazies) but there will be people in the water around me. We all have our own kayaker, and are all aiming to complete each stage.
Is the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim the longest swim in the world?
Yes, at 120 miles it is the worlds longest marathon swim. (Florida to Cuba was 110 miles)
Is the Hudson River Clean?
Part of the mission of the swim is to raise awareness that the Hudson River is clean and enjoyable. The water quality is monitored by Riverkeeper. While I love a challenge, I would never subject myself to something that wasn’t safe for my health or the health of others.
Have you swam in a river before?
Yes! My 6 hour cold water qualifying swim for my English Channel crossing was completed in the CT River!
What is one of the biggest challenges of the swim?
Recovery. Unlike other marathon swims where you are done after 20 miles. This swim consists of recovering day after day to complete the 120 miles. Proper recovery means getting the nutritional values you need, stretching, sleep, massage, and mentally being ready for 20 miles of swimming every day for 7 days.
What do you wear?
8 Bridges 120 mile Hudson River Swim follows Marathon Swimming Rules: no wetsuit, no water mp3s, no touching anyone, no getting out, one swim cap, no flippers etc. It’s purely you and your swimming ability.
Will you have family on the water with you?
For most stages, no. My mum and brother will be trailing in their car, and my dad will be on the “mother boat” which will be around the swimmers but not directly next to me.
What is your training philosophy?
You can’t study like a B student and expect to get A’s. What this means is that you need to align yourself and your training to the specific demands of the swim. For example, rather than train in the pool every day, I do open water swims. I do back to back 2-6 hour swims because my event is a back to back kind of swim. I train with the worlds best kayaker (my brother Cameron) because I will be following a kayaker during my own swim.I watch videos of past individuals competing in the 8 Bridges swim to mentally prepare myself for the sights, logistics and atmosphere I will be in. (WARNING: I did this before my channel swim and the first video I clicked was a very dramatic failed attempt (luckily it didn’t really phase me and I took it as an educational moment)….but just be careful what you click on if you get easily scared).
You now are sponsored…..Are you still going to law school?
Yes. I have been accepted to law school! While I am blessed with this unique opportunity to be able to follow my childhood dream and go pro in swimming with sponsors, I have professional legal career goals too….my sponsors have made achieving these goals financially doable.