Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2013

edited June 2013 in Cheering Section
Looks to be a strong MIMS field this year! Here are the soloists:

Braga, Giuliana
Brynn, Charlotte
Cashell, Carol
Clifford, Devon
Cummins, Lisa
Delaurentis, Lisa
Dods, Suzie
Donovan, Timothy
Dooley, Katy
Downie, Paul
Gorman, Victoria
Helguera, Gustavo
Herrick, Charles
Hinds, Lochie
Hirschman, Nicole
Ho, Phyllis
Hughes, John
Hunt, Andrew
Kiernan, Marilee
Leonard, William
Lichtenwalter, Kenn
Maher, Liam
McGowan, Ellery
Morris, Wayne
Neitz, James
Neri, Jesus
Newsome, Paul
Penrose, James
Roberts, Ceinwen
Rutford, Kristian
Samuels, Charlotte
Sanders, Gretchen
Thorpe, Victoria
Throsby, Karen
Van der Byl, Grace
Ward, Deirdre
Wilson, Geoff
[added later]
Green, Steven
Levy, Frank
Rose, Caitlin

Please post Twitter accounts of swimmers (or crew) who will be providing live race updates. Then on race day folks can use this thread to keep track of the race from multiple perspectives.

For example:
Official NYC Swim - http://twitter.com/nycswim
Paul Newsome - http://twitter.com/SwimSmoothPaul
crew member @evmo - http://twitter.com/pointswim

I will also suggest the Twitter hashtag #MIMSwim, for those who use such things.
Per NYC Swim, use the Twitter hashtag #MIMS (not to be confused with the eponymous rapper).
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Comments

  • You forgot Steve Green, Frank Levy and Caitlin Rosen
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Shout out to Katy Dooley. Going for her Triple Crown.
  • Suzie too. Hope it's a nice day!! Looking forward to stalking everyone's swims
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    You forgot Steve Green, Frank Levy and Caitlin Rosen

    Sorry about that! It wasn't personal, I promise.

    I copied and pasted the list from this page, and missed the Swim Free fundraisers, who were listed separately.
  • said:

    Suzie too. Hope it's a nice day!! Looking forward to stalking everyone's swims

    and Karen Throsby
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • So it’s looking like a cool year, hence the cold water prep requirements but what makes Sandy Hook 10F higher?

    Buoy water temps today June 6th

    The Battery 61.5F
    Kings Point 60.4F
    Breezy Point 60.4
    Sandy Hook 70.7F
  • Sandy Hook Buoy lives in its own little world. Sometimes it's +10, sometimes it's -20 trending to hit 0K in a few weeks. Generally best to ignore it.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • edited June 2013
    Some Twitter accounts:

    Lisa Cummins (Sandycove)
    Liam Maher (Sandycove)
    Carol Cashell (Sandycove)
    @KarenT (UK) being crewed by @jgal
    Tori Gorman (WA)
    Andrew Hunt (dormant since EC, might wake up tomorrow) (WA)
    Paul Newsome (WA) being crewed by @evmo
    Lochie Hinds (WA)
    Ceinwen Roberts (WA)

    There a couple of others I know but are never used so I didn't add them.
  • Sandy Hook buoy is on the bay side of the peninsula and in shallower and more sheltered water.
  • Good luck everyone! Hope you got your polio shots.
    Sisu: a Finnish term meaning strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.
  • It looks like the rain has stopped. Start delayed. Start at 8:30. Good luck to all.
  • Amazing day out there trying to follow on Twitter & GPS. Going to be very interesting to see the results and the DNFs, not to mention Paul Newsome (& @evmo's) charge for first.
  • Something wrong on NYC Swim's tracker. WHen I click on Paul Newsome, I get his countryman, Victoria Gorman. When I click on her, I get her. I can't find Paul.
  • Congrats to Paul on winning. Lochie Hinds 2nd, Bill Leonard 3rd, Ceinwen Roberts 4th. (Ceinwen is one of the WA Sandgroper crew with Paul Newsome, Andrew Hunt, Paul Downie, Geoff Wilson).
  • where do you get your info? I checked Paul's twitter and there's nothing for 4 hours. Am I doing twit wrong?
  • Pauls GPS was off all the time vs Lochie's. @evmo gave the unofficial data then Morty updated on @NYCSwim Twitter. Almost everyone home now (though we don't yet know the full DNF list).
  • said:

    Congrats to Paul on winning. Lochie Hinds 2nd, Bill Leonard 3rd, Ceinwen Roberts 4th. (Ceinwen is one of the WA Sandgroper crew with Paul Newsome, Andrew Hunt, Paul Downie, Geoff Wilson).

    Given that Paul is an honoree Australian now, that makes 3 Aussies in the top 4 - I feel a rousing shout of "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi" is only appropriate :)

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • Hope to see some video clips. What a great effort by everyone who gave it a go today.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • Am curious to hear what happened out there today. Sounds like it was brutal.
  • Need more details on swimmers being pulled and then allowed back in?!?! All but 15 pulled at one point? Did I hear that right?
  • I just heard 11 finished the full swim.
  • I think NYC Swim twitter updates were based solely on their GPS system, but of course Paul's wasn't operational so they had no idea he was leading til near the end.
  • MvGMvG
    edited June 2013
    said:

    Preliminary results have just been posted. 11 finishers. :-(

    http://nycswim.org/Event/Event.aspx?event_id=2302&from=results

    What does 'boat assisted' mean in this list? :|
  • said:



    What does 'boat assisted' mean in this list? :|

    The ebb turned before most of the field made it to Hellgate. Those swimmers were transported by boat to the Harlem River and allowed to continue swimming from there. Considering the alternative, I think it was a good option, as those swimmers could experience the rest of the course and hopefully enjoy the day in the water. I'm sure mot are anxious to take another crack at it.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • It means they were pulled from the swim and placed back on the boat. They were then taken anywhere from 2 to 3.25 miles up the river to start the swim again. I can't speak for the other swimmers, but the 2 on my boat definitely understood that the swim would not be officially recognized, but would count as a boat assisted swim. They both finished this way.

    There was a lot of chaos out there yesterday, particularly with the late swim start. The swim officially started at 8:30am - it was scheduled to start at 8am, as indicated on the MIMS timeline.

    Based on my observations, I believe the late start negatively affected the very front end of the middle of the pack swimmers. I do feel the extra 30 minutes would have given them a smaller section of strong current to navigate, and perhaps they would have been able to get through it. However, I still believe the middle of the middle pack, the lower of the middle pack, and the back of the pack would have not been able to make the currents yesterday, no matter if they started on time, or even an hour before.

    The first group of swimmers (10 at the back) was pulled at 10:55am (2hr25mins in), and some were barely at the bottom tip of Roosevelt Island - with a good current propelling them along up until then. Had they started at 8am, they still would have had to get to around 116th Street, where I noticed the currents were subsiding. The distance from the back group of swimmers to this area was at least 3 miles. Our 2 swimmers were pulled around 11:17am, and still had a distance of 1.5 miles to get to 116th street. Had we left 30 minutes earlier, would this distance have been possible? Maybe. But it would have been tough, and I don't think anybody after them would have made it.
  • edited June 2013
    Thanks very much for the explanation @jgal & @david_barra. I was away from Twitter for about an hour and returned to what looked like chaos. It was hard to make it all out, and of course we were trying to figure out who had been pulled just from Twitter and we didn't want to put any pressure on the crews by asking. You all did a great job with the updates and pics and I think you (@jgal) especially were fab for updates from @KarenT, along with @evmo for Paul Newsome.

    It was compelling on Twitter, though the GPS was not much use this year.

    It also seemed the temperatures affected a few people badly who weren't as acclimatised.

    It has seemed to me there's been a bit of complacency about MIMS for the last couple of years, even though almost everyone agreed last year was very difficult (first 90 mins and then all the Hudson). I think this year's events will actually serve to dispel that myth and will benefit MIMS standing amongst other swims. It's a pity though so many swimmers should be affected by the tide for this to happen though.

    I no longer believe this last part of my post.

  • edited June 2013
    MIMS is timed very precisely - on a specific kind of tide, at a specific point in the cycle - to give everyone a good chance at finishing. Although modern MIMS fields are generally all accomplished marathon swimmers, there is wide variation in their swimming speed - anywhere from ~2.5km per hour to nearly 5km per hour.

    If you think about it, it is actually quite remarkable that 100% (or nearly 100%) of the field have finished in recent years. And IMO, it's a testament to NYC Swim's management of the swim that we have come to expect such success rates.

    This year was an aberration, and resulted from factors outside swimmers' control (including human error), which no doubt increased the frustration of the affected swimmers. I absolutely empathize with that frustration, but it is worth remembering that chaos, unpredictability, and sheer bad luck are all quite fundamental to the marathon swimming experience.
  • @jgal Where was @KarenT in your opinion? Top, middle or back of the middle pack.
    Was the late start her nemesis? Or did the lamprey delayed her?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited June 2013

    It has seemed to me there's been a bit of complacency about MIMS for the last couple of years.

    I don't know if complacency is the right word here... I think everybody realized that the swim would be challenging. What I think was different this year than previous years is the speed of the swimmer. I looked back at results, and the majority of swims in the last few years (bar 2007?) were well within the 9:30 time limit. A good few swimmers this year still finished above 8 hours, after being moved up the river 2.5+ miles. Had conditions been favorable in the upper East River, with the rest of the swim as it was experienced yesterday, these swimmers would have finished in well over 10 hours...and probably closer to 11 hours.
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    What I think was different this year than previous years is the speed of the swimmer.

    Clarification: do you mean current-neutral speed of the swimmers (i.e., in a vacuum), or speed of swimmers including the currents (i.e., finishing times)?

    I think the current-neutral speeds of this year's field were comparable to other years.
  • @jgal Where was @KarenT in your opinion? Top, middle or back of the middle pack. Was the late start her nemesis? Or did the lamprey delayed her?

    I reckon she was middle of the middle when pulled. My hubs, Dave, was observing a swimmer (James Penrose) who was pulled at 11:01AM, and he was probably 600m behind Karen. Dave thinks 15 swimmers were behind James when he was pulled, and I'd estimate 3-4 swimmers separated James and Karen. So that puts Karen right in the middle of the middle pack.

    Given the first 10 were pulled at staggered intervals from 10:55, James at 11:01, and Karen at ~11:15, I would estimate that all of the pulled swimmers were on board a boat by 11:25. But during that time, some boats had already made their way to the Triborough bridge, so the finishing times of the pulled swimmers will vary because some boats immediately headed there, while others (including ours) stayed in neutral while deciding what to do.

    I can't say if the 30 minutes would have made a difference. Had it started at 8, I think she would have been the separation... she either would have barely made it, or barely missed out. It's impossible to know.

    Clarification: do you mean current-neutral speed of the swimmers (i.e., in a vacuum), or speed of swimmers including the currents (i.e., finishing times)? I think the current-neutral speeds of this year's field were comparable to other years.

    I was talking about no current speed, as in, like a pool. :) On my boat, we had a strong forward-pushing current up until ~80th Street. With this current, some swimmers still only made it to around 59th Street. Was it comparable to other years? I don't know. I only know that it still took some people over 9 hours to finish, after taking off 3+ miles of the course. And apart from this one area, the course was mostly unremarkable (with the exception of a few patches in the Hudson and toward the finishing buoy). There was a bit of a forward-pushing current in the Harlem, too.
  • If anything, the pool speeds of this year's field was faster (and continues to get faster) than in previous years, because the application process is more competitive, and the committee (which I served on this past year) can be more selective.

    The unusually large spread between Paul (at 7:14) and the finisher at 9:50 is more likely due to the start later in the tide cycle, which benefited faster swimmers, and punished slower swimmers.
  • edited June 2013
    The typical MIMS is timed to "punish" faster swimmers and benefit slower swimmers.
  • The unusually large spread between Paul (at 7:14) and the finisher at 9:50 is more likely due to the start later in the tide cycle, which benefited faster swimmers, and punished slower swimmers.

    That doesn't make sense to me. I see how the Upper East Side area benefitted the faster swimmers, because they were able to get to the Harlem River on this current that changed at 80th St for us, but the slower swimmers were all taken out of the swim area with strong currents, and put back in at a normal or current-assisted area, which remained this way for the rest of the swim (bar a few areas of tougher than normal conditions, which I put up on Twitter).

    These tougher conditions included a bit of chop, but all of the swimmers continued to make good, steady progress in them. So, effectively, they got to skip a bit or most of the only section of the swim that had strong currents. The rest of the swim looked 'as expected' of any long distance swim.
  • The spread is almost the same as last year. Abby was 15 mins slower than Paul, but Steve Falkner was 20 mins slower than Tom Donovan. Difference of 5 mins. 2011 has a 2 hour spread also. 2010 was only 1:15 while 2009 was 2 hours. We'd need to look at the spread for every year but this year doesn't look too exceptional based on first look.

    Knowing some of the swimmers who were pulled. they included, (obviously since only 11 finished), some fast swimmers, which for this case I'd define as 4k per hour (nominally).

    I'm not drawing any conclusions, just comments.
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    That doesn't make sense to me.

    I'll try to explain better.

    How the typical MIMS goes is: the field (still relatively tightly packed) enter the East River at near max flood, which gradually abates as swimmers move upriver. With the staggered start, the fastest swimmers should reach the front of the field by the upper East River. When the fastest swimmers enter Hell Gate, the Harlem usually isn't ebbing yet, so the front part of the field bunches up again (i.e., faster swimmers get "punished"). Meanwhile, slower swimmers are still benefiting from the East River flood.

    In the Harlem, the faster swimmers battle a slackish current in the beginning, while slower swimmers don't enter the Harlem until the ebb is stronger - so they benefit relatively, compared to the faster swimmers.

    Same in the Hudson. When the faster swimmers reach it, they battle slack water for some time, while slower swimmers benefit from a more fully-ebbing Hudson when they reach it later on.

    The net effect is that finishing times between "fast" swimmers and "slow" swimmers are compressed for the typical MIMS, compared to current-neutral conditions.

    Because of the delayed start yesterday, the opposite happened. The tides were optimized for fast swimmers - so Paul's time was probably faster than what he'd have done if the race started on time. Similarly, the swimmer who finished at 9:50 would likely have been much faster on the typical MIMS, resulting in a narrower spread of times.

    If you're interested, much more info on the dynamics of the rivers around Manhattan as relates to swimming is available in Capt. Tim Johnson's History of Open Water Marathon Swimming.
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    The spread is almost the same as last year.

    Yes, but this doesn't take into account that only 11 of 39 finished this year, compared to 100% this year and the year before. Those 11 were presumably among among the strongest swimmers in the field, so the sample is already much more "selected" than last year.
  • edited June 2013
    In a typical year, Paul Newsome and Tim Donovan may have finished 45 minutes apart, instead of 2:45. Tom Donovan may have been a near-front or high-middle of pack swimmer last year.

    See what I mean? You should think of him as finishing 11/39, not 11/11.
  • edited June 2013
    Interesting, and yes, that makes more sense in the typical sense. But the slower swimmers got a positive flow up until the current change, and then were pulled within minutes of their struggle with forward progress. So the way I see it, they were able to re-enter the water up the river 3 miles, back in the stronger ebb, ahead of the middle swimmers, behind the lead pack. Surely this should have 'reset' the field, resulting in a 'typical' swim, which is what I observed. (Karen got through the rest of the swim brilliantly, with zero issues.) But it still took many of them 10+ hours to finish, after being reset in an area much further along than they would have been able to swim in 30 minutes had we started on time, with a strong forward current, so I don't get how the spread would still be the same as last year.

  • I'm heading out now, and will respond more later, but for now...

    The swimmers who got pulled may have been moved forward, but I question the assumption that they were necessarily moved as far as they'd have been on a non-delayed start.

    I was in the lead boat, so I have no idea what actually happened back there.
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    The swimmers who got pulled may have been moved forward, but I question the assumption that they were necessarily moved as far as they'd have been on a non-delayed start.

    The swimmers that were moved were dropped in different places... some just before the Triboro, others further back... closer to the footbridge. I thought it best to get my swimmer back in the water asap. There was conflict and confusion and the process was less than perfectly executed, so times for the swimmers that were boat assisted might seem somewhat random. Some swimmers got in and out as they pleased accepting their swim as unofficial. My swimmer kept the break short, and continued his swim. He will rock it next time, I’m sure.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Here are a few things missing from this conversation. First, @jgal has referred a few times to an 8am planned start and an 8:30 actual start. That's not actually accurate-- or at least it's a little more complicated than that. Here's what I know:

    The timeline we had originally, and that was discussed at the meeting on Friday afternoon, had the start scheduled as: "7:35am swimmers enter the water" and "7:40 race start." But even this wasn't the actual plan for the first wave. Wave 1, which had the slowest swimmers, was going to start closer to 7:20 in what Morty called an "unceremonious" start, just to give them a chance to make the cut-off times. So even when the start time was moved to 8am, there were plans to unceremoniously start wave 1 twenty minutes ahead of that time (~7:40). Wave 1 started closer to 8:35 yesterday, a full 55 minutes after the adjusted planned start (and some 75 minutes after the original planned start).

    I was in the second wave, which started only a few minutes after the first wave (instead of the 20 minute gap that was planned), at 8:38. In other words, a full 58 minutes after the originally planned start, and 38 minutes after the rescheduled start... All of this is to illustrate that the specifics of the start time delay is a little more complicated than what can be gleaned from the currently published schedule.

    @evmo's explanation of how this years swim flipped who got an assist and who got "punished," is very clear. Thanks, Evan.

    Another way to see the effects of this: all eleven 2013 finishers had to be fast enough to to beat the tide change, or in other words, they were the fastest swimmers in the field (if we don't look at the few folks pulled for hypothermia). The fact that the 11th fastest swimmer (out of 40) in the field this year had a time that falls in between the two slowest swimmers from last year says something... All signs point to that something being that this late-started course was very different from previous years, and not that the rest of us were unusually slow swimmers (which would just be a weird thing for the MIMS committee to let happen). At most, there were one or two swimmers that NYC Swim was at all concerned about their ability to finish. (I'm not guessing here, this is what I was told by a NYC Swim organizer in the weeks leading up to the race.)
  • edited June 2013
    said:

    [ so times for the swimmers that were boat assisted might seem somewhat random.

    Are there even times for "boat assisted" swimmers listed anywhere? If so, where?
  • said:

    In a typical year, Paul Newsome and Tom Donovan may have finished 45 minutes apart, instead of 2:45. Tom Donovan may have been a near-front or high-middle of pack swimmer last year.

    See what I mean? You should think of him as finishing 11/39, not 11/11.

    First of all, many congratulations to everyone who took part on Saturday. From what I've heard (Twitter, Facebook, MSF) it was a very tough swim for all involved. The results obviously don't do the swimmers justice, as there are some amazing swimmers on that list who don't have official times.

    Anyway, regarding Tim Donovan. I agree with what @evmo is saying above. Tim's a great swimmer. Lovely chap. I trained with him all summer in Dover last year (well- not quite, because his feet would disappear into the distance very quickly). He swam the EC last summer in 11h 40m - I guess that sort of time might put him high-middle of pack in a normal MIMS year?

  • edited June 2013
    A couple more observations to corroborate my analysis from above:

    The lead swimmers (Newsome, Hinds, Leonard, Roberts) flew through Hell Gate, indicating the Harlem was already ebbing, and the East would soon lose its flood.

    Later, when Paul reached Spuyten Duyvil, we motored ahead to scout the Hudson, suspecting the ebb may have already been in full bloom. Indeed it was - we measured 3mph at the top of the island. We also observed a back eddy along the Manhattan shoreline at the same spot. Therefore, we immediately directed Paul out into river, and he flew past the GWB much faster than a lead swimmer would normally experience.

    Based on my knowledge of the application process last November, and conversations with several swimmers over the weekend, I can confirm that the pulled-and-repositioned swimmers included many with very respectable pool speed. Certainly enough to make it around the island on a normal day. Unfortunately, with the late start only the swiftest of the swift had much of a chance of making it.

    At least, that is how I see it.
  • edited June 2013
    I did a search, but must have missed it. Why did the race start late? Rain? Other weather?
  • said:

    it is worth remembering that chaos, unpredictability, and sheer bad luck are all quite fundamental to the marathon swimming experience.

    I could not agree more.
  • If the time-frame for the start at MIMS is so critical the organizers are to blame for not starting on time. I haven't heard/seen a good explanation from the organizers why the start was delayed.
    It's not that this is a new race for them with teething problems.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • @IronMike, I have not heard for sure, but I believe the start delay was die to late escorts. I have been a volunteer observer before on one of the escorts and from what I have seen it is a huge production herding, loading and positioning the escort power boats. Many of the escort power boats come over from NJ and the bad weather leading up to the swim probably made it difficult for all of the to get there on time. I am sure @chaos (Dave B) can bring clarity to this issue.
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