It’s been about thirty hours since Regina climbed out of the water, wrapped herself in mylar and a towel and ran to a crowd of friends she’s known since pre-school and I still don’t know what to make of what happened. What did I see? What was it? Who the hell knows? A Daily News reporter leaned over the railing with me after the first racers finished, pulled out a notebook and ran a sweaty hand through his hair. He asked if he could ask me a few questions. I said sure. Then he stuttered, “What do you make of all this?”
I gushed about the Twitter feed that started when the race did and mentioned Regina by name. The whole undertaking seemed preposterous and frightening, and the Twitter feed assured readers the race sponsors took the racers’ safety very seriously. Not a single thing I said made it into the article, but I totally didn’t care.
Strokes of genius ’round Manhattan
BY ZAK FAILLA AND CHRISTINA BOYLE _DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Sunday, June 7th 2009, 4:00 AM
It’s not the easiest way to get around Manhattan.
Dozens of swimmers braved the chilly waters of the Hudson and East Rivers yesterday to compete in the 27th annual marathon swim around the island.
The 25 solo racers and nine relay teams jumped in at Battery Park City to swim the 28.5-mile race – the best finishing in just over seven hours.
“The water was cold when we first started through the East River, and it warmed up around Harlem,” said George Pond, 43, whose relay team scooped first place.
“This is a great way to see New York, I highly recommend this to anyone.”
Large crowds cheered and applauded the swimmers from the shore, as boats honked their horns to show their support.
That’s us. We were very large but dressed in layers we shed as the temperature became less temperate.
“The Hudson was really choppy, so it was the biggest obstacle by far because you couldn’t get into a rhythm,” said John Van Wisse, 36, from Melbourne, Australia, who won first place in the solo race with a time of seven hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds.
“I sing a lot of songs in my head during the race and try to go into a trance and focus on the stroke.
“The training is fairly intense,” he added. “The water was really clean considering the rain. It was a surprise.”
Swimmer Penny Palfrey won the female race, completing the challenge in seven hours, 17 minutes and seven seconds.
Most sports reporters use the word women’s when not referring to livestock.
The first-place six-man relay team was Vice Lords, with a time of seven hours, 12 minutes and 42 seconds. Team Mexico was the fastest four-man relay group, swimming the distance in seven hours, 40minutes and 42 seconds.
“You couldn’t pay me enough to do this,” said Cealan Clifford, 21, from Florida, who was watching the event. “It’s actually really dangerous. … There’s even huge pieces of wood that you can swim into.”
Swimmers from around the world come to New York every year to take part in the contest.
Hopefully, I will be less speechlessly stupid in days to come.