Humble Marisa Frieder Swims Under Portland's Bridges

Humble Marisa Frieder Swims Under Portland’s Bridges

Marisa Frieder, a 40-year-old microbiologist, completed her personal goal to swim under all 11 of Portland (Oregon)’s bridges – 10.7 miles from the Sellwood to the St. Johns – and became the first person to do it in the process – in 5 hours and 18 minutes.

Following the traditional Channel Swimming Association rules under the watchful observer’s eye of Tim Cespedes and with Michelle Macy as the pace swimmer, Marisa’s Willamette River Bridge Swim took place on a chilly and gray morning in the American Northwest under calm, flat conditions.

I think the accomplishment and the meaning of the swim are still sinking in for me. My coach, Jon Clark, did a really, really great job of training and preparing me for this. There were no surprises and I knew I could do it. On the other hand, there were no surprises. I swam an hour longer on Saturday than I did on my training swim last Saturday. So it felt… normal. One of my teammates said something about how my transforming myself from a breaststroke sprinter to a long-distance freestyler gives her hope that we can all do things that we don’t expect from ourselves. I hadn’t thought of that, and it feels kind of good. This whole experience has been so humbling.”

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones