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20 bridges manhattan swim

Swimming in the city that never sleeps.
As I am writing these lines, I can't keep Alicia Key´s song "New York" out of my head. Not only do I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps, but I want to swim in, or rather around it, as well. I bet Alicia Key or Frank Sinatra never had that in mind!
Yes, my next big swimming adventure will be swimming around Manhattan Island on August 21st, 2024. The official name of the swim is 20 Bridges, and, as the name applies, I will be swimming under 20 Bridges around Manhattan Island, starting with George Washington Bridge and ending with Brooklyn Bridge. The swim is 48.5K, but because of the strong current, it is possible to complete it in less than 10 hours.


20 Bridges is a 48.5-kilometer swim around Manhattan Island traditionally completed in a counter-clockwise direction. It’s a full loop, with an in-water start and finish and an interesting scenario, with skyscrapers such as Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower.


The three rivers that are part of the swim are not fresh water but tidal straits or estuaries. The East River, connecting New York Harbor to Long Island Sound, with some ripping-fast tides. The Harlem River, connecting the East River to the Hudson, has more relatively calm waters and is crossed by 15 bridges, most of them between Manhattan and the Bronx. The last one is the mighty Hudson, separating Manhattan from the state of New Jersey. The only bridge during this stretch is the magnificent George Washington Bridge. The Hudson can get quite choppy in the afternoon due to all the boat action, especially if there is wind coming up from the Harbor.

Deniz Kayadelen at manhattan
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