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Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Swimmer's Dozen, The Portland Bridge Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Marisa Frieder went from becoming the first person to complete the 10.7-mile (17.2 km) Portland Bridge Swim down the Willamette River through the heart of Portland, Oregon to a passionate race director.

After her unprecedented success in 2010, Frieder has been organizing the Portland Bridge Swim for others to enjoy since 2011.

"Registration is open for the fourth annual Portland Bridge Swim," announced Frieder. "But now we have extra bridges.

The Portland Bridge Swim was previously known as '11 miles-11 bridges', now offers a 12th bridge with the addition of Portland's newest, the Tillicum Crossing transit bridge. Swimmers start the race under the Sellwood Bridge and its growing replacement on the south end of the city, then pass through a serene, park-like area populated with herons, ospreys and bald eagles. After passing under the Ross Island Bridge, swimmers will experience the city center from the waterline, swimming from bridge to bridge with 9 bridges within a 3-mile stretch. The final leg of the race is a mental challenge, passing through a working port with the last 2 bridges hovering 5 miles off in the distance

The Portland Bridge Swim will be held on July 13th for solo swimmers and 3-person relays. Entries are limited to 80 individuals. For more information, visit here.

When Frieder completed her swim in 2010, it led to profound changes. "That swim changed my life. It gave me arm muscles I'd never had. It showed me personal strength that I didn't know was inside me, and it opened up my life to this race. Organizing the Portland Bridge Swim gave me job skills that I've used to move forward. The race has allowed me touch peoples' lives in ways I really, really love, and I get to change my city by challenging our relationship with the river."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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