A Manhattan Mermaid On An Open Water Journey

A Manhattan Mermaid On An Open Water Journey

A Manhattan Mermaid On An Open Water Journey

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. Deanne Draeger replicated the first swim from Manhattan Island to Coney Island last month. Draeger celebrated the 99th anniversary of 17-year-old Rose Pitonof‘s swim from East 26th Street in Manhattan Island to the Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island.

Like Rose, Draeger took 8 hours 10 minutes to complete the 14.77-mile (23.7 km) journey.

Like many newcomers to the sport, 42-year-old Deanne had very little previous athletic experience – but she has drive and commitment that has taken to heights she never knew possible. After training to do her second Ironman triathlon, Draeger got injured and was ultimately unable to bike or run, leaving swimming as her sole outlet for her newly found passion for endurance sports. “I decided to focus on swimming. As I was searching online for a long distance swim event, I came across the article about Rose Pitonof and her swim, and knew immediately that that was what I wanted to do. For the swim, I wore a thin surf skin shirt for sun protection and then later did the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as part of the relay team The Manhattan Mermaids.”

It is these stories of individuals who are drawn to the allure of crossing a body of water – willing themselves to overcome a variety of physical and mental obstacles to success – that are so refreshing to learn about. Each open water journey begins with the first stroke and Draeger is well on her way.

Copyright © 2008 – 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association