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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:

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.

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

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.

For more information, go to 

One Response to “Willamette River Lap Swim stretches imagination – Macy partners with Human Access Project”

  1. Sarah Schneiderman says:

    Wish I could be there to cheer you on. It’s a long way from Maine, where I’m not swimming because the water is too cold for me.

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