On Sunday, July 10, 2022, I completed a 10-mile marathon swim from Coney Island to Redhook in Brooklyn. It took five and a half hours — it should have taken four and a half, but either somebody didn't time the tides quite right, causing us to swim in place for an hour, or we just spent too much time enjoying the view. I'd always wanted to do this swim, so when another swimmer got cold feet, I was offered the spot and I took it — I hadn't done a marathon swim since lockdown.
Starting at Brighton Beach, we swam out to our safety boats which then dropped us off in the water at Red Buoy #6 off of Coney Island. We swam around Sea Gate and then headed up the Hudson River toward the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
At Gravesend Bay, we fought the currents until the tides shifted, then we headed up the river with the Manhattan skyline as our visual guide. There were four of us on the swim and the rules stipulate that we cannot be aided in any way (no touching the boat, no wetsuits, and just one swim cap).
Every half hour, our feed bottles, tethered by a 50-foot string, were tossed to us, and we drank our fluids and powdered carbohydrates. On the fifth hour, our support boat told us to feed ourselves quickly, then swim at sprint pace toward the shore since, again, they misjudged the tides and feared we would be swept past our landing.
We all made it, thankfully, and we were greeted by friends and family. As a reward, we ate the bounty that Redhook offers: key lime pie, BBQ, and pizza. Volunteering on the support boat were two AGUA Masters swimmers: Isabel M., Masters coach and swimmer, and Gisela B., a member of Asphalt Green and my wife, who swims 1,800 yards every morning with me.