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Archive for the ‘Willamette River Swim’ Category

Willamette River Lap Swim a smashing success

June 18, 2013

The day started off really EARLY.  We met Drew Carney from News Channel 8 at Sunrise for Out and About with Drew.  It was pretty crazy, but a good start to getting what ended up being a lot of good press for the Willamette River.  I think people really got to see and engage with the river in such a different way.  Most of the time people are either driving the bridges or walking, running or biking the paths next to the river.  I’m sure many never consider getting in the river unless they are in a boat.

I think our little river swim did a lot to help change people’s minds.  Yes, 15 years ago swimming in the Willamette would have been ill advised.  Local non-profits and other organizations have been doing oodles to change that.  Unfortunately people’s perceptions are still 15 years old.  Funny how the brain works and what sticks with us.   The Human Access Project are working to change that.  That is what this 12 hour swim was about.  Get people to own their waterway.  It is the lifeline to the city.  By improving the Willamette’s health and prosperity, we in turn increase our own.  

What was great about this swim for me was to have an endless changing landscape to watch while swimming.  I was able to talk to and engage with the people thank them for coming and answer their questions.    Can’t say that has ever happened on any of my other swims.  I even had a classroom of school children throwing flowers down into the water to cheer me on.  My very own Ice Castles moment.  

Besides the great press, I think some of my friends were really able to comprehend what my sport actually is.  Some came down to cheer me on and said “Oh, you really just swim for 12 hours without stopping.”  Yep that’s what I do.  I guess seeing it in actual time is different than understanding the sport conceptually.  

Take a moment to read some of the great articles that resulted for the Willamette. 

KGW News Channel 8 at Sunrise – Out and About with Drew Carney:

KOIN News 6: 

The Oregonian:

Fox 12 News and a few radio stations came as well, but I can’t find their postings.  If you find them please pass them along.  

Oh and if you are looking for something fun to do in the Willamette this summer consider the following:

The Big Float:  http://thebigfloat.com/ – sponsored by the Human Access Project – www.humanaccessproject.com

The Portland Bridge Swim – http://www.portlandbridgeswim.com/ – 11 miles, 11 bridges and countless memories – relays are accepted!

 

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Willamette River Lap Swim stretches imagination – Macy partners with Human Access Project

June 6, 2013

The press release for tomorrow’s crazy swim.  

If you thought lap swims were just for pools, think larger. Think Willamette River. That’s where long-distance swimmer, Michelle Macy, will soon attempt to swim 75 laps (19 miles). Her Willamette River Lap Swim will take place Friday, June 7th beneath the north deck of the Hawthorne Bridge from 6:30am-6:30pm.

The “swim practice” is a public event sponsored by the Human Access Project (HAP), a new Portland not-for-profit organization formed to promote public access and recreational use of the Willamette River and to transform Portland’s relationship with it.

Macy joined with the Human Access Project to raise awareness of the Willamette’s recreational potential. Her goal is to swim for an amazing 10-12 hours and cross the river 75 times – she may even do flip turns on the seawall. In addition to awareness and training, she hopes people will join in her efforts to raise funds for HAP and her future training and travels. These tax deductible donations can be made at the Human Access Project site: humanaccessproject.com

The public is invited to watch and cheer her on throughout the day on the Hawthorne Bridge’s north platform, or on either side of the Esplanade. For safety, she will have a kayak escort by her side the entire swim. As Michelle says, swimming in rivers and lakes should never be done alone, particularly long-distance swims.

The Human Access Project (HAP) is supporting three other Willamette River events this summer:

July 5th “World Float” Portland will try to break the Guinness Book World Record of 540 people to form the “Longest Floating Human Chain” – on the Willamette River. worldfloat.eventbrite.com

July 21st Portland Bridge Swim – 80 solo swimmers and relay teams will swim almost 11 miles in the Willamette from Sellwood to St. Johns. portlandbridgeswim.com

July 28th The Big Float III 2,000 participants will have a group inner-tube float in the Willamette River. There will be a barge with three bands (for an inner-tube concert on the water), free chair massages and a kids’ area. thebigfloat.com

For more information, go to www.humanaccessproject.com. 

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