Bridget Simpson - Lake George
Lake George Village to Ticonderoga
32.3 miles (51.8 km)
28 hours, 6 minutes on 8-10 August 2017
Observed and documented by Tom Cunningham
- Support Personnel
- Swim Parameters
- Swim Data & GPS
- Observer Log
- Media Coverage
- Name: Bridget Simpson
- Age on swim date: 49 years, 9 months
- Nationality: United States
- Resides: Ticonderoga, New York, USA.
Selected Previous Swims
- 8 miles Lake Champlain (1999)
- St. Croix 5 Miles (2000)
- Several swims of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges 4.4 miles (2001, 2002, 2003)
- Potomac River Swim for the Environment 7.5 miles (2002)
- Jim Beaty - pilot
- Marsha La Pointe - kayaker
- Janet Lawrence - kayaker
- Jim Cunningham - kayaker
- Quinn Simpson - kayaker
- Virginia Westbrook - kayaker
- Tom Cunningham - observer
Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
Length of Lake George, New York, from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.
- Route Distance: 32.2 statute miles (51.8 km).
- Route Type: one-way
- Start: Lake George Village Dock, 43°25’19.22” N, 73°42’40.65” W.
- Finish: Diane’s Rock, Ticonderoga, NY. 43°49’34.07” N, 73°25’34.45” W.
- Route Distance: 32.2 statute miles / 51.8 km.
- Start: 8 August 2017, 21:07 Eastern Daylight Time.
- Finish: 10 August 2017, 01:13.
- Elapsed: 28 hours, 6 minutes (per swimmer’s watch, adjusted from 28:02 recorded by observer).
Summary of Conditions
Trackpoint frequency: 30 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).
by Bridget Simpson
I worked to prepare for this swim for a year, really gearing up my miles around April. By the time Lake George was sufficiently less cold for me, around 55F, I started acclimating. Lake George is notoriously chilly, but a few long swims gave me hope.
Starting at the Lake George Village docks, I swam north, starting at 9:07 by my observers reckoning. I had my watch set to chronology and hit start. I swam under a clear sky, and the moon peeked over the mountains as I made progress. The water felt cool, but fine. My kayakers were in about a 2 hour rotation, and their bright lights kept me company. With ear plugs and cap, I don’t hear well, but they worked on using strong voices. The Wednesday forecast was for sun and warmth, and I looked forward to it.
At 6:30am on August 9, the sun started peeking over the mountains, making the lake come awake, and it is a beautiful venue! By this point, I had been swimming for about nine hours, and I was thinking about how I like to finish my open water swims with a few strokes of butterfly, as a tribute to my dear friend, Doris Russell- a Senior Olympian and champion Masters Butterflier in her late 90s. I was pretty sure that fly would NOT be recommended at the end, so I asked my observer to make a note of a few strokes of Fly for Doris- he did. Doris is always encouraging, with her motto: Keep Kicking! So I did.
Through the day, I felt generally solid, but chill. I could see the goosebumps on my arms, and I started fantasizing about pizza and soup.
Around 3pm, we had a bit of a squall, with winds and waves. The main boat backed off a bit to be safe, and my son, Quinn, was my kayaker at the time- soaking wet. Normally, I love swimming in chop, and the silver lining of the storm was that I had to work harder, and it warmed me up a bit. I knew to enjoy it while I could, because it was not a pace I could maintain. After the storm passed, a new kayaker arrived on crew with a great gift- two bottles of soup!!! A bit of warm! Such a treat.
Much of the last hours of the swim are a bit of a blur. I remember feeling like it took hours to get to Anthony’s Nose, finally rounding it after dark. My eyes were closing often, and my focus narrowed on my two main kayakers- Jim with soup, and Quinn telling me to eat a bite of solid food. Once I felt like I had passed beyond beyond Tiroga Point, having missed the beach completely, I knew I was almost finished, but still over an hour out. I have been told that people lined the lake on docks, the beach, and the marina in Ticonderoga, cheering me on. I shifted strokes often, but when I got back to the crawl (and it was really just a crawl), I felt a mini surge. I could do it. When I was finally at Diane’s Rock, I was able to slip and slide and climb out, and lean into it a bit. When I was sure my toes were clear of the water, I stopped my watch. 28:06.
I had to slip and slide my was back across the rocks to the rocky point of a friend’s house, where I was bundled and warmed, and congratulated. I was herded into the house and shower, while my son paddled his kayak to the main boat to deal with the tracking device. The end time of the tracker likely coincides with the start of my shower. Future swimmers going north may want to check with Joan to see if she is willing to make her shower the official end point. ;-)
I believe I am the oldest swimmer of Lake George, and between my crew and me, we are likely the most novice team to attempt a swim of this magnitude. We want everyone to think big. You can do it!!
Also see Bridget’s blog post, originally published HERE.
from evening of August 9
- Post-Star: At 49, swimmer basks in glow of swimming length of Lake George
- Sun Community News: Ticonderoga woman swims Lake George
Local TV news segment
Proclamation from Ticonderoga Supervisor