We arrived really early after skipping the line at the Liberty Island ferry (that's the way it should be, New Yorkers first!) and we spent a few hours puttering around the island, watching all of the ships and ferries go by. Wow, the harbor is so busy!
After some snacks, people watching and a quick change in the gift shop bathroom, we gathered with the other 250+ swimmers for a "pre-race meeting" where no one could actually hear anything. We knew where to start and finish so we figured we'd figure it out from there.
The race had an in-water start, which was kind of fun because we were all herded onto a party boat where we watched people jump out into the water below. We each got pushed into the water and ended up in a large herd of churning legs and arms until the countdown and horn. The start was completely insane, legs and arms flying and bodies everywhere. Ack. Sally and I had to fight to stay together with and the race never really opened up because it was so short. I was punched in the head, side, neck and back no less than 10x, but I'm sure I did my fair share of smacking too. The only really bad hit was the elbow to the face that left me with a fat lip and a cut over my eye. It knocked my goggles askew, but I emptied them and kept swimming. I wasn't going to lose Sally and have to swim this on my own!
I enjoyed the few minutes we were able to get into a rhythm and I was swimming along with a view of Lady Liberty when I breathed left and a foggy NYC Skyline when I breathed right, how cool is that?!
Miraculously, we managed to swim together the entire time, battling the waves, chop and whales (aka fat men in wetsuits). There were a bunch of folks in wetsuits, but as it should be in ALL swims the whales were not eligible for awards. I was happy to see that most people were in traditional swim gear, especially because the water was a PERFECT 70 degrees and the swim was not even a mile long.
We climbed the exit ramp around 24:46, good enough for 2nd in Sally's age group and 10th in mine. We were 93rd & 94th overall out of the 235 finishers! Wahoo!
I really enjoyed the whole event (including the BBQ afterwards) and I think NYC Swim did a great job, but in the future I'll be looking for their races that have a wave start. This was my second race this month with 250 people starting at once! Crazy.
As a great bonus, when I got home I was able to watch the live coverage of the NY Senate vote on marriage equality which I'm beyond happy to report PASSED! I am extra proud to be a New Yorker today.
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