Pictorial tour through my 20 Bridges

I’ll have more pictures in the coming days, but for now, here’s a few from my attempt at 20 Bridges.

We had to be there at 0500, so this is me sitting and waiting…and being nervous…

I’ve already spoken elsewhere about how wonderful this marathon swimming community is. While I was sitting there, my right hand shaking like a leaf (“…but this is my swimming hand”), I got hugs from people I’d only ever met online. Really helped with the nerves, as did the requisite pre-swim jumpography.

Before I knew it, we were on the boat and motoring over to the start at Pier A.

Wow, do I ever look nervous!

Before long, it was my time to start, and I was so relieved to just jump in and get this swim started.

The first hour flew by. Not sure how far I got, will have to wait until I get back home and sync my Garmin.

This is one of the first few bridges I swam under. I told my crew my cardinal rule: Never tell me how far I’ve gone or how far I have to go. I told Agnes, my kayaker, to also not tell me what bridge I’m on. That didn’t mean I didn’t count as they were going by. Turns out by the end I was off on my count, thank God.

Then came the tough part, the decision to quit or get moved and go on, even though the swim wouldn’t count. I chose to continue, of course, and here is where they dropped me and Agnes and I started up again, the Wards Island Bridge.

Lots and lots of bridges passed me by in the wonderfully-cooperative Harlem river. Before long, though, I passed under what I thought was bridge #19 but actually #20.

Now the tough part. Had no idea it was about 11 miles from this point to the finish. So glad I didn’t know. En route, I passed a bunch of things I had no idea I passed.

And of course, through it all, my crew was there.

Thank the river gods, I finally found the finish. Longest DQ ever!

Compare this picture to the one at the start. So glad to be done!

Came out of the water, waving to my family at Pier A. So thankful to be done. Had to return some water back to nature first. (Of course, one of my kids just had to take this picture.)

The kids and I cleaned up at Pier 25 and took a very short taxi ride back to Pier A to meet up with family for a nice après-swim dinner.

Only later after getting back to our tiny lower East side walk-up did I really appreciate how wonderful my family was, none of them ever commenting on how horrid I looked. (Pictures below are from three days after the swim!)

Once we get back to Moscow I’ll post the Garmin tracks and my lessons learned. For now though, this is IronMike signing off from Manhattan!

6 thoughts on “Pictorial tour through my 20 Bridges”

  1. The photos are so lovely (okay except for the boat toilet cabinet and cap line!) Love the start in the dark photos and you swimming under the bridges especially. We missed you guys at the dinner at Harry’s! How was the Pier A food? I always see the drunk brunch people and they seem to be having a great time and the building looks so cute.

  2. These pics are awesome! Nice to see shots of you along the way, versus the tiny rings on the online tracker. Super proud of you!!

  3. So cool to watch your “dot” on race day and even cooler to see these fantastic pics. So happy for you Mike. Strong work!

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