This was originally published 5/22/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!
Last summer, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head to raise awareness for ALS.
This summer, I’m jumping into a bucket of ice water. In other words, I’m swimming a mile in the ice cold Hudson River! Want to join me? Jump in!
The first ever New Amsterdam City Swim is taking place on World ALS Day, June 21 in the Hudson River in New York City. As They Might Be Giants once sang, “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.” The swim is the first international companion event to the Amsterdam City Swim, the largest charity swim in the Netherlands. In 2014 more than 2,000 swimmers jumped into the Amsterdam canals to raise more than $2.5 million for ALS research.
With a clever wink to New York’s old name, the New Amsterdam City Swim will coincide with the Amsterdam City Swim to raise money for medical research to fight ALS.
Swim training in Quebec. (RunKarlaRun.com)
Every swimmer, myself included, commits to raising at least $500 to fight ALS. Where is the money going? To Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world.
Starting at 3:45 p.m., to benefit from a favorable current, the course begins at Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and finishes at Hudson’s River Park Pier 26 at N. Moore Street in Tribeca.
But the event will be more than just a swim. The Finish Festival on Pier 26 is a concert with complimentary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (my fave!), complimentary Heineken beer, free Pepsi soft drinks & water, live entertainment, children’s events, and BBQ food for purchase. DJ Questlove—yes, Questlove!—is headlining the festival, and Candy Dulfer—who has toured with Prince—is the opener. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill post-race party.
One of my friends and running teammates is Dutch and works for the Netherlands consulate in NYC. She invited me to be a part of the event and wrangled a complimentary entry for me. But I’m still committing to raise at least $500 for ProjectMinE.
The timing is perfect. I got a “time out” from running thanks to a stress fracture/bone bruise and started swimming again to keep my cardio up. Swimming is my favorite part of triathlon training and I even finished as the second woman overall at a small open water swim in Rhode Island last summer. So I jumped at the chance to jump in for such an important cause.
Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)
Yes, the Hudson will be cold—60-66 degrees on race day. Hello wetsuit! Yes, I’ve heard about the “Hudson Mustache,” the film of debris coating Hudson River swimmers in NYC. And yes, the only other time I swam in the Hudson I got a fever, chills, and associated cold/flu symptoms immediately afterward. But that just shows how important ALS is that I’m willing to brave the Hudson again.
Please join me by registering to be one of the swimmers braving the Hudson in June at www.newamsterdamcityswim.org. If you need your swim certification for the New York City Triathlon, you can get it at the New Amsterdam City Swim!
Don’t want to swim? Buy a ticket to the finish festival! For $75 you’re getting a party headlined by Questlove with all-you-can-eat Ben & Jerry’s and Heineken too. Best of all, the cost of your ticket goes to ProjectMinE.
Not in NYC? Please consider donating to my fight against ALS at the New Amsterdam City Swim.
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