Stage 3: The Hudson Valley

It is poetic justice how the shortest stage of the event coincides with the longest day of the year! Summer solstice dawned early and the event crew was already hard at work getting Stage 3 ready to launch. It’s an interesting mindset to think “It’s only 13.2 miles today, it’ll be easy!” As with the rest of the event, yesterday’s finish line morphed into today’s starting line as we jumped just north of the Mid-Hudson bridge and took our first strokes shortly after 9AM. We started with the outgoing tide, which grew in strength over the next three hours.

The scenery most of the way was beautiful. Stunning landscapes on both sides of the river, it was described by another swimmer as “Something you would see in a Bob Ross painting that hangs in your Great Aunt Ethel’s living room.” There really isn’t a better way to describe it. The weather was amazing, not a cloud in the sky and a slight tailwind. It was just enough to lift everyone’s spirits.

This stage is also billed as the one with the “most scenic” cement factories. That didn’t disappoint either. It was a sight to behold, and it also meant we were about half way. The last three miles were pretty much a straight shot with the Beacon Newburgh bridge looming as the finish. It’s always a great feeling to swim under the shadow of the bridge since that means you’re SO CLOSE!

Another great day in the Hudson River. Four more stages to go!