View RSS Feed

swimsuit addict

Little Red Lighthouse Swim

Rate this Entry
by , September 25th, 2011 at 12:36 PM (2035 Views)
Yesterday I had a wonderful swim in the Hudson at nycswims Little Red Lighthouse 10K. It had rained heavily the day before, and more rain was forecast for race day, so I was worried that this race would be cancelled, but it went off without a hitch. We all gathered in the early morning hours at West Harlem Piers Park, at 130th Street on the Hudson River, for race check-in. There were nearly 300 swimmers entered in the race, and we were divided into 12 waves for the start. Although this is one of NYCSwim's longest running races, it was my first year doing the swim, and I ended up really glad that I signed up for the event this year.

There was lots of time for chatting with friends old and new as we waited around for the boats that would take us upriver to the race start. I saw teammates from all 3 NYC groups I swim with (TNYA, AGUA, and CIBBOWS), plus I finally got to meet pendaluft from the forums, who is a great guy. After a bit we got some race instructionsstay to the right of the orange buoys, turn in at the yellow buoy--and waves 1-3 loaded onto the watertaxi to be ferried up to the start. I was in wave 9, so I lounged around with some friends to await the boats return to pick us up. We watched the tide turn in the river from flood to ebb (the race was scheduled to start sometime after the rivers current began running in the direction that would help swimmers.) After a while the water taxi returned, we got on board, and then got a preview of the course as it brought us to the start 6+ miles upriver.

I downed a last bit of food and juice, put some lubricant around my suit straps to avoid chafing, did my inhalers, then packed clothes and flip-flops into my bag (we were allowed to check 2 bags at this race, one before we got on the boat and one right before we jumped off the boat into the river). When my heat was called I jumped in, swam to the two buoys marking the start, then found I had to swim steadily back upriver to avoid being carried past themit definitely looked like we would have a good current with us! They did a quick countdown and we were off.

I had been looking forward to swimming this course ever since it was announced, and the boat ride up confirmed that it was as gorgeous a stretch a river as Id thought. On the western bank is the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palisades_Interstate_Park_Commission"]Palisades Interstate Park[/ame], which features a long stretch of majestic wooded cliffs. On the east is the lovely Riverdale section of the Bronx. Two miles into the course the Harlem River spills into the Hudson at Spuyten Duyvil, affording a brief view up the Harlem under the arching Henry Hudson and railroad bridges that span that river. Four miles into the race we would pass under the magnificent George Washington Bridge, and by the Little Red Lighthouse that sits at its base (and lends its name to the swim).



That's the Little Red Lighthouse--emphasis on little--at the base of the rightmost bridge stanchion.

After a packed season of racing, and just a week before my Ederle swim, I was determined to take in all these sights fully. And thats exactly what I did. I enjoyed swimming strongly for stretches, then relaxed with some backstroke or breaststroke while appreciating the views. I was in a steady stream of swimmers the whole way, but the course never felt crowdedit just seemed like a grand day out on the river in the company of a few hundred other kindred spirits. It was so cool to see so many swimmers stretched out in front of and behind me meit was as if for this one day swimmers ruled the river!

With so many separate waves in the water, I was continually passing or being passed by others. I stopped and chatted a bit with Rondi, who had caught up with me from wave 12 about halfway through the race, then swam a bit with Dave, who had also caught up with me from a later wave. (See his blog post on the race!) Whenever I saw someone stopped I would pause and exchange a few words, and I found there were a fair number of other swimmers out on the course who were also taking breaks and just appreciating the views from the river. The sun even came out midway through the swim. It was definitely a great day to be swimming in the Hudson!

Too soon we reached Riverbank State Parkhome of my beloved 50m pooland I knew the swim was almost at an end. I spotted the yellow buoy that we were to round before the finish. It was significantly to the left of the others, and I knew from speeding by the other buoys in the river how swiftly we were moving with the current. So to reach this buoy, which was about at 11 oclock in relation to me, I angled in somewhere between 9 and 10 oclockie I was swimming nearly perpendicular to shore. That ended up being about right, though, and by taking a more direct route to the finish I probably ended up ahead of about a dozen people who had been ahead of me in the river but who took a wider line around the final buoy. Funny how those competitive instincts kicked in at the finish!

I ended up finishing in 1:37:05, 67th out of 240 finishers, 21st woman, and 1st in my age group. (You can see from that time how very current-assisted the swim wasits less than half the time it took me to swim a 10K 2 weeks ago at Coney Island!) There was plenty of time and space to socialize after the race, and it was great to see so many friends, both those who had swum and those who came out to cheer and support. NYCSwim once again did a great job with the race. It was indeed a wonderful day!

Submit "Little Red Lighthouse Swim" to Digg Submit "Little Red Lighthouse Swim" to del.icio.us Submit "Little Red Lighthouse Swim" to StumbleUpon Submit "Little Red Lighthouse Swim" to Google

Categories
Uncategorized

Comments

  1. pendaluft's Avatar
    It really was a spectacular day!

    I can't thank you enough for your advice and encouragement when I got the last minute jitters this week. I am so glad that I did get to do that swim. It's really a beautiful course and, since it started in my own neighborhood, it was great for my family so see us start and then come down the bike path next to the route.

    As always, part of the fun of doing an NYCswim event is reading your write ups afterwards. I feel like I got to swim the course twice!

    Good luck on the Ederle Swim!

    ps Great Cookies!
  2. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pendaluft
    It really was a spectacular day!

    I can't thank you enough for your advice and encouragement when I got the last minute jitters this week. I am so glad that I did get to do that swim. It's really a beautiful course and, since it started in my own neighborhood, it was great for my family so see us start and then come down the bike path next to the route.

    As always, part of the fun of doing an NYCswim event is reading your write ups afterwards. I feel like I got to swim the course twice!

    Good luck on the Ederle Swim!

    ps Great Cookies!
    Thanks for the sweet words! I'm really glad you enjoyed the race so much. I'm hoping we'll see each other again next year at this race and others too!

    Is that a picture from the race you have as your avatar?
  3. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Sounds wonderful! I miss NY! have a great swim next week
  4. pendaluft's Avatar
    My avatar is a picture of me from last year's Gov Is. My 10 yo daughter (aspiring photographer) took it from shore. No action photos from this race!
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken of the Sea
    Sounds wonderful! I miss NY! have a great swim next week
    Thanks Amanda! New York misses you too--we've developed some new beach synchro moves for next time you're here!
  6. ViveBene's Avatar
    Thanks for that great picture of a very little red lighthouse! I couldn't have dreamed, though have seen tiny lighthouses on islands in Casco Bay. This looks like the only 10k I could ever imagine finishing (do they allow 3 hours?). Lovely writeups of your swims all summer!
  7. rxleakem's Avatar
    Congrats - that sounds like a super swim! Lots of entrants, too, which makes it a lot of fun. Our swim in Rhode Island today was not quite that fast, but the weather also held out. I'll be putting up some info about that in a little bit.

    Keep swimming fast!
  8. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ViveBene
    Thanks for that great picture of a very little red lighthouse! I couldn't have dreamed, though have seen tiny lighthouses on islands in Casco Bay. This looks like the only 10k I could ever imagine finishing (do they allow 3 hours?). Lovely writeups of your swims all summer!
    Thank you VB! The lighthouse is quite a bit taller than me, it's just very dwarfed by the huge bridge!

    The official cutoff was 3:15, and this year the final finishers were just under 3 hours. (With the wave starts the actual finishes were compressed into a relatively short time period, with later waves catching earlier ones near the finish). Do consider coming out next year--I'm sure you would love it! It would be great to meet you in person!
  9. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    Congrats - that sounds like a super swim! Lots of entrants, too, which makes it a lot of fun. Our swim in Rhode Island today was not quite that fast, but the weather also held out. I'll be putting up some info about that in a little bit.

    Keep swimming fast!
    Thanks! I'm glad your race went well too, and the weather was kind to you as wel. Looking forward to reading your write-up!