Swimming the “Columbia Crossing,” along with 92 other people on Sept. 10, was a defining moment for me, a relative newcomer to open-water swimming.
I’d like to thank Eric Greager and 3 Rivers Road Runners for organizing this amazing event. It was a gorgeous fall morning and swimmers began arriving at 7 a.m. to register, with the official event beginning at 9 a.m. The swim is 1.5 miles across, beginning at Chiawana Park and ending at the Edison Street boat launch.
The water was 70 degrees — it was arctic, choppy and literally took my breath away. With the help of a wonderful volunteer in a kayak, one of many who support the swim, I was able to get my breathing under control, start freestyle swimming and eventually get into the “zone” that would take me across.
I’ve been thinking about swimming the Columbia since I started distance swimming three years ago. Following the blue line in a pool, day in and day out, doesn’t hold a candle to open-water swimming. It is absolutely exhilarating, and the finish was a celebration!
In its 17th year, the Columbia Crossing has raised more than $40,000 for Columbia Basin Dive Rescue.
Lisa Toomey, Pasco