Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pre-race day

Friday, June 6, 2009

1 day until MIMS

I need to apologize for not posting. I thought I would be able to, and mostly have the time to post, but the minutes clicked by and all of the sudden it was to time to close my eyes for a few hours but the early morning swim.

Friday: Another early day, finishing my packing and preparing the feeds for the swim.

I mixed all my Maxim feeds and packed to cooler for tomorrow.

I'm trying a new feed which seems to work well. I baked (microwave) 2 Sweet Potatoes until very soft and let them cool. Unpeeled, the meat of the potatoes was mixed in a blender with 2 cups of water, 2 large scoops of Maxim and 3 envelopes of Sweetened Green Tea mix. This made 3 good feeding for tomorrow.

After frantically, running around the house, getting everything ready for Paula, who was taking care of the animals, I finished my chores.

At 8:30am: Janet, Bertha & I made our way down to Manhattan. We were trying to get down before 11:15am, check in the Hotel and head over to the Governor's Island Ferry.

We made it down to the West Side, even with all the rain. A cool, steady rain made to trip slower and more anxious, especially as we closed in on Battery City.

As the rain continued and the wind picked up, we found our destination, the Marriot Downtown, unpacked the car and left Juanita, the little red Prius, in the care of the valet. After check in, a pee break and a stop at Starbucks, we had 20 minutes to get to the Ferry Terminal.

We Made It!

The rain kept our heads down, no time to take any photos. With a quick "hello" to our Mexican E.C. swimming friend, Nora, we raced through the terminal to be the last passengers accepted on the noon ferry ride. Upstairs, it was like a swimmers reunion. Mexicans in their bright green & red parkas, the pink 'mighty mermaids' relay and other solo swimmers and relays.

After a short ride across the white capped harbor, we exited the ferry and all proceeded through the Governor Island streets to our sign-in and meeting center.

Looking at the crowd, Janet and Bertha, decided to take the 12:30 ferry back to Manhattan and the hotel. they had their whole adventure, finding their way back through the maze of construction and sidewalk crossings.

The documentary film crew was setting up their equipment in the 1st room we entered, I said hello to Martin Belderson, who I had met 16 years ago, when I 1st did this swim and he was filming the 1st MIMS documentary. We both have changed, our hair color had grayed and we both had a few more winkles for both us, but the same enthusiasm.

I got back in line to see Tobey Saracino, another friend and fellow channel swimmer, who signed me in with a hug and a smile, and handed me my 'goodie' bag'. I paid for my extra dinner tickets and followed the line of swimmers into the conference room for our meeting.

"Hi Morty", with a hug and a quick catch-up conversation with Morty Berger, the race director, I found a lone seat in the middle of the crowded room. Who would have known I sat in the right spot, next 2 young English swimmers, Terrance and Connor. I was supposed to look for Connor, a.k.a. Podge, per request from his coach/friend Nick Adams. I remembered Podge from his 2007 English Channel swim. We laughed and I told the guys this would be a fun swim, less boring than the channel and would be over hours before a crossing.

The boys were looking for John VanWisse, the Australian swimmer, who happened to be right behind us. Lots of swimming talk and laughs when Podge gave John a pink watch from Nick Adams.

Morty started the meeting. He started with instructions for us all to introduce ourselves, where we've swam and why were we here. They were fun and interesting introductions from all the solo swimmers and relay team captains. After a quick intermission, Morty went through the course and answered ?'s. At 3pm, we were all looking at our watches and needed to get back to Manhattan to ready for the evening and the morning.

On the ferry ride back to the city, Liz Fry and I caught up and discussed the swim with John VanWisse. He had different goals than me... he was looking for another win and I just wanted to finish without any injury.

We docked at the port and all passengers split to their destinations. Liz, Deb, Peg & I made our way through the wind and rain to our hotel. Liz and I stopped for a road side pretzel, good carbs, not really but tastes good.

We split when we arrived, Liz to her room and prep and I went up to Room 3113 to meet back up with Janet and Bertha.

After unpacking and setting the hurricane swimmer look to the room, we all got ready for a quick dinner. We wanted to head across town to our favorite Italian place but the rain kept us close to home. I was just hungry, anything hot would be fine.

We ended up at 'Morans', an Irish pub. Shepard's Pie for me, and finishing up Bertha's mashed potatoes and a few fries from Janet's plate. We went back to home base to relax, I took a bath to relax and my pre-race shave.

I was texting my other crew member & friend, Liz Greenstein, all day. She was in NJ for a Memorial Service and heading down to stay the night w/us because of the early morning start. At 8:30pm, Liz arrived. I prepped the girls on the already-made feeds, their signals I would be looking for and what they should discuss with our pilot. I would not be able to meet him.

After that, we all tried to rest for a few hours before the early morning wake-up call.

See you at 3:30am....

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

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2015 ... Swimming for Homes for the Brave

After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people.
Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness.
As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support.
I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.

That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well:

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.

On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.

In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.

I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.

The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at:

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.