Foiled by a Hurricane

Brooklyn Bridge Swim Path

The course is to swim 1,000 meters from shore to shore across the East River of Manhattan under one of the world’s greatest structures, the marvelous Brooklyn Bridge.

This year it was going to happen. I was going to swim the East River. Everything was looking good. So far, Lady Luck was working with me. Hurricane Hanna wasn’t due to arrive in NYC till this evening.  We’d be done with the race and long gone before then. I was excited.

For the race, all systems were go. I left D.C. on Friday with fair weather and arrived a few hours later in NYC. Everything was going fine. To familiarize myself with the race I walked around the South Street Seaport area, checked out the course, and mapped my path from hotel to where the race was to begin. As you can see in the picture above, it was a beautiful afternoon. Saturday I would swim under the Brooklyn Bridge!

Once satisfied that I knew the lay of the land I headed to my hotel. As I stood at Reception checking-in I received a prerecorded announcement on my cell phone. “The race has been canceled.” The cancelation wasn’t due to anticipated bad weather during the event but instead due new safety precautions taken in the wake of Katrina. The police simply wanted to err on the side of caution.

This morning I still went. There on the pier were gathered a few dozen swimmers picking up t-shirts and chatting over coffee and donuts. It was a beautiful morning for a swim. The air was calm and warm; waves would not have been an issue. As a group we weren’t happy with the way things had played out but we understood. It just wasn’t to be this year … maybe next?

Watch this spot for a Brooklyn Bridge Swim entry in 12 months!

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