Here is the tracking map: 

Cathi forgot to start the tracker until half way up the East River.  Sorry friends!  Thankful for folks who called to ask
her to get that tracker turned on!

How far is it?

Circumnavigation of Manhattan Island for this race starts at the south end at Battery Park, and heads counter clockwise.  Starting with the East River, up to the Harlem River, continuing up near the northern end of the island, and then down the Hudson River southerly back to Battery Park.  
The total distance is approximately 28.5 miles.  However this is a swim that is current assisted.  So the swim cannot be compared to a 28.5 mile swim in a lake with no current.  The race is timed to use the tide and currents to the advantage of the swimmer. 

How much did it cost?

  • Swim: When I submitted my application, NYCSwim requires full payment up front.  It was $2,550.
  • Airfare: I paid for Cathi, Lucy and myself to fly from SLC to Newark, NJ: $432 per round trip ticket
  • Hotel: One night in Manhattan:  $329, One night in Newark: a little over $100

What did you have to do to qualify to enter this race?

Given the demand by many marathon swimmers worldwide, and the lack of opportunities to swim this race, as well as to ensure that all swimmers are experienced and will be safe, this race requires participants to qualify.  In my case, the English Channel and Catalina Channel crossings both satisfied the qualification.  It isn't required to have already swum EC or CC, but it certainly make a statement.

What was the water quality like?

From the first moment I jumped in at the start, the water tasted a little like diesel fuel.  It resumed all the way up the East River, but in the Harlem it seemed to dissipate to an almost neutral taste.  Then in the Harlem it resumed back to a diesel taste.
The water was so rough in the Hudson that I ended up drinking probably a quart of river water accidentally.  I had a little sore throat that night, but the next day was fine.  Never got sick at all. There was some rain the day before, and had received a last minute email from NYCSwim announcing that the water quality was just beyond the threshold of what is normal and that the quality was compromised, saying that we had an opportunity to back out if we wanted.  Heck NO!  I'm all in baby!  
The water quality was just fine.  I wouldn't hesitate to swim there on a regular basis if this were my turf. 

How did it compare to English Channel or Catalina Channel?

For reference, here are my Catalina Channel FAQ and English Channel FAQ pages.  I will provide an update here once I swim MIMS.  But keep in mind that the same swim course is difference one day to the next, so when I compare my swims, it's from my own perspective on the given days I swam.  They likely would all be completely different had I swam them on different days.
The wind picked up pretty strong in the Hudson, and it was ROUGH.  The whole distance down the Hudson for me was simply humbling.  3.5 hours of getting the crap beat out of me and rushing to the finish due to a miscommunication between me and my crew and I was swimming scared.  Due to my experience in the Hudson, MIMS was the toughest swim for me than both the English Channel and Catalina Channel.  Read my detailed MIMS report for more information.   

Why is MIMS doing three fields of swimmers instead of just one like years past?

Being a race director myself I totally understand the complexities of organizing a race (not that any of the Utah races pale in comparison to the complexity of MIMS, I can only imagine the overwhelming nature of organizing and executing something like this), the number of volunteers needed for a very large field of swimmers is just not available.  From online meetings with NYCSwim, it was revealed that this will be the last year that this will be a race with more than 5 swimmers.  The future of MIMS is headed in the direction of providing solos like EC and CC.  No more humongous fields of swimmers in a race format.  
Which doesn't bother me in the slightest.  In marathon swimming a majority of swimmers care very little on how fast they went.  If they went fast, great, that's a bonus, but the big thing is to finish.  

What's next for you?

For now, I'm focused on being a coach for my kids.  They've been neglected as potential swimmers and I am determined to change that.  I will be coaching them early in the mornings and helping them to get to the point where they can decide whether to pursue swimming in a serious and competitive manner, or be satisfied with just being able to get across to the other side of the pool.  
I also hope to be the best support I can be for Chad Starks, who is planning to swim the English Channel July 2015.  I'm looking forward to being on his crew and helping him conquer the channel and live his own dreams.   Also supporting Michele Poole in her Anacapa Crossing in September 2014.
Some other swims that I have on my bucket list that I'd like to swim (in no particular order), starting in 2016:
  • Lake Tahoe Length Solo
  • 2nd Ice Mile (2015 attempt?)

No comments: