Alongside every swimmer at 8 Bridges, is an incredibly dedicated kayaker. I don’t know how I hit the mega millions jackpot by being assigned to Margrethe, but all I can say is that I couldn’t have done the swim without her. At the top of my list of reasons why I succeeded, is her name. She has a love for the game, and told me on our first chat that she is passionate about making dreams come true. Her ability to read the Hudson River, the currents, shipping channels, and the optimum place to position the swimmer, is nothing short of genius. She is a force of nature.
You get to know a lot about someone by staring at them for 120 miles/39 hours 7 minutes and 11 seconds. Margrethe is one of the very few people that could really read me and understand my mental game. She knew how I was feeling, what to say to get the competitive edge out of me and when to say it, know how to reassure me when it was unclear whether or not we would finish a stage, and could tell every time I was trying to be sneaky and look at the bridge from miles away…. even when I thought she hadn’t seen it.
The reassurance, safety, support and love I felt from Margrethe were the perfect blend, which got me down the river. From the pre-swim hugs and strategy talk, to the post swim handholds under each bridge we conquered. I am just so honored to have been able to share the experience with her and feel so blessed to have her in my life.
Not all heroes wear capes, some wear bright pink hats. Margrethe is a hero to me. She is also Queen of the Hudson.
Together we finished the longest marathon swim in the world, broke a world record as youngest to swim the 120 miles of the Hudson River, won both 19.8 miles stages (2 and 5) (youngest to win a stage), and became the 6th human to ever swim 8 Bridges, the 120 miles of the Hudson River.
It was the 6th year of the swim, I was the 6th human to ever do it, and back in 2014 was the 6th Smithie to swim the English Channel…coincidence?