NEW YORK, September 11. A warm, late summer day greeted over 100 swimmers at the inaugural Brooklyn Bridge Swim on Saturday. The swim was the final event in the Manhattan Island Foundation's 2006 Summer Swim Series. Team Brooklyn was victorious in the "Battle of the Bridge." The 'swim-within-a-swim' featured two eight-member teams competing for the pride and glory of their borough, and bragging rights until next season. The winning team received the Roebling Cup, named in honor of John Roebling, the bridge's designer.
"I'm proud of the Brooklyn team's victory today," said Jesse Lansner, captain of Team Brooklyn. "Of course, with Brooklyn's heart and toughness, I never doubted our team would be the one holding the trophy at the end of the race. The Battle of the Bridge is a great reminder that the rivers in New York City aren't dividing lines, but shared spaces where we can all come together to enjoy New York City's greatest natural resource and engage in friendly competition."
The Team Brooklyn members were Elizabeth Call, Jim Gannon, Frank Goldstein, Douglas Jensen, Jesse Lansner, Kenn Lowy, Brian Robinson and Dahlia Thompson. In the solo men's division, Colin Robinson, a 30-year-old from New York was first with a winning time of 17:15. In the women's division, Jeanne Kellachan, from Rye, N.Y., was first with a time of 16:16. Second and third place in the men's division went to Brendan Garvin Matt Malina. In the women's division, Anna Armentrout finished second with a time of 19:30 and Sionainn Marcoux was third with a time of 19:52.
The one-kilometer Brooklyn Bridge Swim started in Manhattan at Dover Street in East River Park near the South Street Seaport. Swimmers swam underneath the road bed of the Brooklyn Bridge then northeast along the seawall of Brooklyn to the beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park just before the Manhattan Bridge. Awards were given to the top ten male and female finishers. Swimmers hailed from New York City's five boroughs, 14 states (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin), as well as Australia and United Kingdom.
The Brooklyn Bridge Swim is organized by the Manhattan Island Foundation (MIF), which organizes 11 events annually including the annual 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Founded in 1993, the Manhattan Island Foundation organizes swimming events in the waters around Manhattan. The authority on open-water swimming in New York, MIF has attracted nearly 10,000 participants in more than 70 swimming races, helping to revive a local aquatic tradition that had been abandoned for nearly a century.
The mission of the Manhattan Island Foundation is two-fold. The first part is to support and expand public Learn-to-Swim programs throughout New York City, particularly those that serve at-risk youth. The second goal is to raise public awareness of the waters that surround New York by supporting efforts to clean and protect them. For more information, visit www.nycswim.org.