Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

High School Guidance Counselor Swims around Manhattan

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

High School Guidance Counselor Swims around Manhattan

Article excerpt

While other high school guidance counselors might be sleeping at 4:30 a.m., Mt. Lebanon's 58-year-old Judy Caves is on her way to the pool.

The early treks ensure she can practice alongside her fellow adult swimmers for an hour and a half before work.

And once she leaves Seton LaSalle High School, there are two-hour-long practices for the evenings, too.

As a result, Ms. Caves is comfortable in the water - which is how she continuously swam for 8 hours and 2 minutes to finish New York Open Water's (NYOW) 28.5-mile "20 Bridges" competition this past Saturday.

"I feel very fortunate, health wise to be able to do this" she said. "I look at it as a privilege - this passion of mine to swim, to have the time, and truthfully the money. There's a lot of blessings that I've had to get me to this point."

Weaving around Manhattan, 20 Bridges occurs four times in the summer - costing $2,700 to sign up - with 15 athletes per race.

It was started two years ago by two marathon swimmers and a paddler, to provide challenging, yet safe experiences for swimmers and kayakers in New York.

Ms. Caves found out about NYOW last year from a friend she met through a swimming competition in Charleston.

The serious training began in November she explained, after she gathered tips from other local swimmers.

"I didn't wake up one morning, decide to do this and jump in the Hudson," she joked. "I'm really not all that talented, but I work really, really hard. I have a hard head, and when I set out to do something, I'm successful because I'm diligent about it."

Ms. Caves swam throughout high school and college - Division III - but began open-water swimming 11 years ago.

She gradually "upped her game," by taking part in various competitions, like the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West, and the 12-mile Swim Around Charleston. …

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