New York City's Secret World of Open Water Swimming Challenges

New York City’s Secret World of Open Water Swimming Challenges

Courtesy of URBANSWIM

New York City is a bustling metropolis, but beneath its surface of its busy streets lies an untold world of adventure and challenge. For open water swimmers, triathletes and ironman athletes, the city is a place of endless opportunities to test their skills and push their limits. With its iconic landmarks and dynamic waterways, New York City is the perfect place to experience the thrill of open water swimming.

Open water swimming in New York City is a unique experience that allows participants to explore some of the city’s iconic waterways and landmarks. One of the highlights of open water swimming in New York is the 17-mile Rose Pitonof swim from East 26th Street to Coney Island Pier organized by URBANSWIM. Each year, swimmers follow the strokes of Rose Pitonof, a young female swimmer who first made this epic journey in 1911,

Whether swimming around Liberty Island in the Statue of Liberty event, underneath the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, or celebrating diversity on PRIDE Weekend with a swim, open water swimming in New York is an experience not to be missed.

In 2023, URBANSWIM will stage five different swims, ranging from 0.6 miles to a distance of 17 miles.

Here you can find an overview and more information for each swim.

PRIDE Swim Manhattan – 24th of June – 1.5 miles / 2.4k

Join us on PRIDE weekend in New York City to celebrate diversity and break a sweat in the Hudson River! The 1.5-mile swim takes off near the West Village of Manhattan, passing by the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement. Not only will you get to experience the thrill of open water swimming, but you’ll also have the opportunity to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and raise awareness for equal rights. As you make your way through the Hudson River, surrounded by the energy and excitement of the city, you’ll feel a sense of camaraderie with fellow participants, all united in the celebration of diversity and inclusion. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a splash in the name of love and unity. So, grab your swim gear and sign up today!

Brooklyn Bridge Swim – 30th of July – 0.6 miles / 1k

Embark on an unforgettable swim adventure in the heart of New York City, underneath the  iconic Brooklyn Bridge! The 0.6-mile swim takes place in the East River, offering a unique opportunity to experience open water swimming in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The Brooklyn Bridge, a National Historic Landmark, was the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1883 and remains one of the city’s most iconic symbols. Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or just starting your open water swimming journey, this swim is the perfect opportunity to make a splash in the heart of the city. So, come and join us for a truly unforgettable experience.

Statue of Liberty Swim – 12th of August – 1 mile / 1.6k

Join us on August 12th for an unforgettable swim event around the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island! The 1-mile circuit offers a unique opportunity to swim in the open water with one of America’s most iconic landmarks as your backdrop. The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and democracy, stands at 305 feet tall and was a gift to the United States from the people of France in 1886. Participants will not only experience the thrill of swimming in the New York Harbor, but they will also have the chance to check this item off their bucket list and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. Register here.

Rose Pitonof Swim – 26th of August – 17 miles / 27.5k

Sign up for this years Rose Pitonof Swim on Aug. 26th and swim along some of New York’s most famous attractions and sights! The swim starts at East 26th street in the East River. Shortly after, you will swim the bridge “trifecta” starting with the Williamsburg Bridge, followed by the Manhattan Bridge and last but not least you will cross under the world famous Brooklyn Bridge. As you are heading south, you will swim along the shores of Governors Island and to your right will spot Lady Liberty standing tall and watching protectively over you. Next you will cross the Upper New York Bay and The Narrows leading to the Verrazzano Bridge in the south – the last of the four Bridges you will be swimming under. Following the Rockaway Ferry you then will head towards the Coney Island Pier where you will successfully finish your Rose Pitonof Swim 2023! We are looking forward to your participation in next years #marathon swim – as an individual or as a relay team of 2, 3 or 4 people! Register here!

Liberty to Freedom Swim – 9th of September – 2.2 miles / 3.5k

Experience some of New York City’s most famous sights from a whole new perspective! The swim spans New York Harbor, starting at South Cove, Manhattan, near One World Trade  Center, and finishing at Liberty Island. Swim directly across the mighty Hudson River, leaving the most southern part of Manhattan – The Battery – behind you. Head south, passing Ellis Island on your right. The finish line is close: Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty watching out for you is just ahead! Once you have completed your swim, hop on to one of our motorboats and enjoy the Manhattan skyline views on your way back to land. This 2.2 mile long swim is the perfect opportunity for swimmers that already have open water swim experience and want to move on to longer distances. We hope to see you in the water at next year’s Liberty to Freedom Swim! Register here!

So come and join URBANSWIM for an unforgettable journey in the heart of the city that never sleeps!