Last Saturday, 362 swimmers from as far west as California and Hawaii and from Ireland, England, Australia, Serbia, India, Canada and a few other places on the map jumped into the Hudson River at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and swam to North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, 1.6 miles away. NYC Swim, which stages 17 races a year in New York harbor, sponsored the May 28 event. The winning time of 00:25:55:00 was posted by Jon Wilkinson, a 39-year-old attorney from Portsmouth, N.H.
The participants ranged in age from 13 to 80. Ken Thompson, 57, an accountant who lives in Greenwich Village, said he had swum in Hudson River races more than 20 times.
“To swim more than a mile when you’re 57 takes a lot of stamina,” he said. He also noted, “In open water, an older swimmer has an opportunity to beat a younger swimmer.” Unlike swimming pools, said Thompson, in open water there are a lot of “surprises.”
The fastest female swimmer in the race was Janet Harris, 45, of New York City with a time of 00:28:39:00. She arrived at the finish line simultaneously with Nathaniel Dean, 34, who trains with the BearCats Masters at Baruch College.
“When I get in the water, I’m a different person,” said Dean. “Everything else about the world absolutely disappears. It’s like Zen.”
Both Harris and Dean will be swimming in the next NYC Swim event, a 28.5-mile race around the island of Manhattan on June 18. The race will start and end at South Cove in Battery Park City. There will be 35 solo swimmers whose credentials include swimming the Catalina and English Channels, the Chesapeake Bay and the Strait of Gibraltar and several two-, four- and six-person relay teams. The participants will come from 10 countries and 13 states.
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