Ederle Swim Where Team Support Is Everything

Ederle Swim Where Team Support Is Everything

Lance Ogren, a retired 39-year-old firefighter from New York, won the 17.5-mile Ederle Swim in record time.

Lance won in 5 hours and 10 minutes for his second victory in this race (also in 2008) while breaking his own men’s record.

A slew of Triple Crown swimmers followed as the entire field finished in water temperatures that ranged from 56 – 58°F (13.3° – 14.4°C).

1. Lance Ogren, 39, New York, 5:10:00
2. Elizabeth Fry, 51, Connecticut, 5:15:00
3. Michael Miller, 56, Hawaii, 5:20:00
4. Nancy Steadman Martin, 56, New Jersey, 5:26:40
5. Lou Osborn, 50, New Jersey, 5:28:30
6. Michelle Davidson, 40, New Jersey, 5:32:00
7. David Barra, 45, New York, 5:37:19
8. Eileen Burke, 48, New York, 5:44:00
9. Lori Carena, 57, New York, 5:58:00
10. Mo Siegel, 59, New York, 6:15:28

Elizabeth Fry finished a strong second while Mike Miller of Honolulu rounded out the top three this weekend. Each swimmer was escorted by a pilot and a kayaker with several other safety and official’s boats monitoring the course and swimmers.

The 56-year-old man the competitors called ‘Mr. Hawaii’ stuck it out in the cold, rough water from Manhattan Island to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Faced with competing against experienced English Channel and Catalina Channel swimmers, all of who live and train in colder-weather states, Mike had to figure out quickly how to acclimate himself to the East Coast waters.

I train year-round in 78 – 80°F (25 – 27°C) on Oahu, so getting used to this temperature was tough,” explained Mike. “Forget tapering for this race, I just needed to get in as much as possible in this cold water while I am here in New York. I was training in Sandy Hook for as much as 3 hours, including a 3-hour swim the day before. Under normal situations, I would be resting the day before, but in this situation, I just needed to get used to the water.”

But he was also faced with another major decision before race day. Due to bad weather, the Ederle Swim was delayed for one week. As a professional with UBS Honolulu, Mike had to make a major decision that many channel swimmers face year-in and year-out. Should he stay another week – even with no predictable outcome or guarantee that he would swim? Should he hope for the best and incur more expenses and time away from his family and friends? Or should he return home with nearly 750,000 meters of training behind him specifically for this race with nothing to show except major sunburns?

After confirming with his family, his close-knit team associates at UBS Honolulu and his supportive branch manager Sean Satterfield, they were collectively aghast that Mike was even thinking about coming home to warm, tropical Hawaii. As seen time and time again in the channel swimming community, Mike stayed with his family and co-workers encouragement and trained as much as he could in the cold water prior to the event.

Support is everything in this world,” said Mike who echoed the sentiments of marathon swimmers worldwide. “Without such support, these things can’t happen.”

But the race went off and all ten swimmers made it from from lower Manhattan to New Jersey’s Sandyhook shores on the birthdate of the event’s namesake, Gertrude Ederle. Escorted by boats and kayaks, the field made its way through the cold, rough water – just as Gertrude did it herself back in 1925.

Here are Mike’s own words on the race during his re-warming process that consisted of getting him dry, taking off his wet swimsuit and swim cap, wrapping him up in blankets, getting dry clothes, hat and socks on and drinking warm liquids (tea). The first video is taken immediately after finishing the race and the subsequent two videos show him after he had re-warmed and recuperated a bit.

Photo by Michael Ciolino shows Lance Ogren in the 2007 Ederle Swim.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones