Portland Oregon Bridge Swim: 12 Bridges, 11 Miles

bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
edited June 2018 in Event Announcements
July 22 is the date for this swim and it is quickly coming up. It is a terrific swim through downtown Portland. The conditions were calm last year and warm. Registration for the swim closes July 13th. It's run by Marisa Frieder who pioneered the swim only 2 years ago.

Here are some links for the swim



And my blog entry from last years swim

Please note that while this is a shameless promotion for the swim, it is a terrific race and July always brings sunny and warm weather. Let me know if you have any questions about the swim or what to do and where to stay in Portland.


  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Putting it on the list for 2013.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Thanks for sharing about this swim Bob. I lived in Portland long ago and this swim looks like a great excuse to visit friends. It is so soon... but since 8 Bridges has me hooked on bridges now, I may need to find a way out to PDX for this.
  • I will definitely consider this swim next year too. Will have to start warning the friends and family in the area.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I will be there. It will be the longest swim I've done so far (I'm doing a 10k the week before.) Any advice would be most welcome!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    @bobswims: Water temperature? Is the current a significant help? What should I be concerned about?
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    Here is the most accurate data. It shows the last 7 days.


    I remember the water temperature being very comfortable during the swim. I believe there is a slight current in your favor, but i swear that by the time I got within a few miles of the finish it stopped and then turned against me. I was feeling so lousy that day I don't remember anything else.

    I wouldn't be concerned about the course. It is very straight forward.
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    This is from the website

    "July 22, 2012. High tide on race day is predicted to be at 8:41 am. To avoid the heaviest boat traffic as much as possible, the swim will start at 7:00 am. Swimmers will be going against the tide for the first 2 hours but after that they should have a nice ride!"

    My research suggests that high tide is 8:51 am.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    At least it's in the very beginning, and not later when we grow tired!
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    Looks like the water temperature is going to be 74°. Here is an interesting article on it:

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Bon Chance tomorrow, everyone!
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    IronMike said:

    Is this NSFW? ;)

    From the website: Swimmers: $30.00, Kayakers: $50.00 followed by: "That's right. We CHARGE for kayakers."

    We should all be inspired by the sacrificial philanthropic example reflected by the Portland kayaking community. No only do they donate their time and effort, but they actually pay for the opportunity to selflessly serve these female athletes in need! Brings a tear to my eye :D


    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • LeslieLeslie TexasMember
    edited March 2017

    Anyone going this July? Anyone swim it in the past? I am already registered. Would love intel.

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

    Never done it, but on my list to do :-)

    Having a bit of a poke around in the LongSwims database it looks like it swims a bit longer than Swim the Suck when you find swimmers that have done both (e.g. Ali Hall or Tiffany McQueen) though both swims are going to have a wide variation from year to year based on current/conditions.


    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    From my understanding, they plan the swim based on a date that works well for the city, not necessarily one that has a good tide push (like most tide-affected swims) - hence the fluctuation from year to year.


    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember

    Tide looks favorable this year but even so the Willamette is a pretty slow moving river in the Summer.

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    This is a WONDERFUL event. Marissa and the organizers do a great job, and the City of Portland is a fantastic to swim through. The river is definitely slow moving, but when you're swimming past some of the BIG SHIPS you get the feeling that you're moving pretty fast...even at the 9-mile point.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber

    I'm doing this and Swim the Suck this year, so we can add some data @dc_in_sf :-)

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber

    I did this the 2nd year or the first it was open to the public. It was not a huge push, it WAS fun, there were some logistical glitches w the kayaks but it all worked out. Not too long, not too short. My only memory is that there weren't any sandwhiches left ( because I was like next to last to finish...)

  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member
    edited March 2017

    I lived near Portland Oregon when I was younger and would love to do this swim one day. I was so excited when I first came across it that I put this image together to inspire myself.


  • CathyInCACathyInCA Martinez, CASenior Member

    On my bucket list. Can't do it this year as I had already promised to kayak a swimmer for another event on the same day. I have family just outside of Portland that I haven't seen in a few years. Would make a family vacation out of it.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    I went to college and grad school in Portland so I've wanted to do this for years. Super excited that we are making it work this year. My husband and I haven't been back in years, and we can't wait to bore the hell out of our son by dragging him around to all of the places we have young love stories about.

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    SydneD said:
    ...we can't wait to bore the hell out of our son by dragging him around to all of the places we have young love stories about.

    Ah! Fellow parents with the same parenting scheme...why else have kids?


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • LeslieLeslie TexasMember

    ssthomas said:
    I'm doing this and Swim the Suck this year, so we can add some data @dc_in_sf :-)

    See you there! And I can tell you about Swim the Suck...unless you've already done it in the past.

  • Sarah4140Sarah4140 DenverMember

    Signed up and well into training--then had to have knee surgery this week. It was arthro so hoping for a quick recovery so I can finish my prep... Would be my longest swim to date and I am intimidated by the distance!

  • LeslieLeslie TexasMember

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. See you in July..it is in July, right?

    Sarah4140 said:
    Signed up and well into training--then had to have knee surgery this week. It was arthro so hoping for a quick recovery so I can finish my prep... Would be my longest swim to date and I am intimidated by the distance!

  • ocnswimocnswim Annapolis,MDMember

    I did the swim last year(2016). It was weird swimming in fresh water, since I swim in the ocean in San Diego. The first 7 bridges go by pretty quickly, the last 3 bridges seem to take forever. Just know that the water is silty, so you barely see your had at the bottom of your pull. It tastes just fine though.

    At the end they served really spicy chili, which wasn't good on the stomach after swimming that long. Nice group of people worked/volunteered for the event, except for a grumpy "lunch lady" serving the chili. [-X

    It wasn't the best organized swim but everything worked out. I recommend it for a different view of Portland.
    Have fun with it, best of luck.

  • I did the swim in 2012 and loved it. Am finally going back again this year. Very cool perspective on the city, fun to swim somewhere that you could never do without an event like this, friendly organizers, etc. You do get a bit of a ride from the current towards the end of the race which is nice. Favorite feature: they have kayaks brought to the start and picked up at the finish (for a fee) if you're coming from out of town and don't want to bring your own along with your pilot. Hopefully there are still some left if anyone is still planning to sign up from out of town and needs one...

  • Sarah4140Sarah4140 DenverMember
    edited May 2017

    Leslie said:
    Wishing you a speedy recovery. See you in July..it is in July, right?

    Sarah4140 said:
    Signed up and well into training--then had to have knee surgery this week. It was arthro so hoping for a quick recovery so I can finish my prep... Would be my longest swim to date and I am intimidated by the distance!

    Yes it is July 9--recovery from surgery going, well, swimmingly, and first 10k of the year scheduled for Friday so we will see..!

  • RickSRickS Member

    Swam this in 2015. Nice swim. Downsides: at 79F there were still lot of wetsuits. They only let me have one sandwich at the end.

    Would swim again

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    So, I've gotten word that the current temp is about 58. Kind of freaking out a little.
    Not. A. Cold. Water. Gal!! (Serious Raynaud's Syndrome.)


  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    You've got time. July is a long way off.



    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Here's hoping!!! Fingers crossed.

  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember

    We've had a long cold wet Spring here in Portland with rivers slow to warm up but by mid July it should be up to comfortable temps. At present 62F, just going to go up from here to then. You can see the river temp here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=14211720

  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember

    River temperature is now 68F and rising

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    Now it's getting to warm ;-)

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COSenior Member

    Good Info on generic water quality data, temperature, stream flow and other metrics for the Willamette River in Portland:
    Looks like mean channel velocity is varying between 0.1 and 0.6 feet per second (0.1-0.4 mph) based on the tide and the discharge is remaining fairly constant at between 20,000 and 30,000 cfs (lots of water).
    As of today, water quality looks decently good too!

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    lakespray said:
    Now it's getting to warm ;-)

    So, um, there is no such thing.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    This seems like such a nice swim, hope you have an amazing day with good water temperatures @SydneD . If it's a little cooler than you would like I know you will still give it your best, because you are tough!

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    @Jaimie Doesn't it look lovely? And thank you! I know I can do it, but I'm not temp wonder woman like you are! Truly amazing!! :)

    And sigh, wish we were sharing the water in Italy again this summer! <3

  • bruckbruck San FranciscoMember

    How'd it go?

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    edited July 2017

    Great event!

    2017 Results: Overall

    Race Number Last Name First Name Race Time Wetsuit? M/F

    55 Lussier Eilhard (Hardy) 3:48 Skin M

    68 wahab Relay 3:56 Skin F

    77 Caldwell Relay 4:03 Skin F

    49 Thomas Sarah 4:05 Skin F

    28 Kingery Karl 4:05 Skin M

    56 Hanson Micheal 4:12 Skin M

    20 Harmon Casey 4:13 Skin M

    40 Brown Charles 4:15 Skin M

    54 Gibson Lisa 4:17 Skin F

    31 Brown Erin 4:17 Skin F

    46 O'Connor Lee 4:28 Skin M

    73 Wheeler Relay 4:31 Wetsuit M

    36 Sponagle Stephen 4:34 Skin M

    1 Bauder Laurie 4:34 Skin F

    38 Treacy Jamie 4:35 Skin M

    48 Phillips Sue 4:37 Wetsuit F

    39 Criscione Anicia 4:40 Skin F

    45 Schmitt Emily 4:41 Skin F

    61 cantu Relay 4:44 Skin F

    37 Jajewski Suzy 4:44 Skin F

    2 Oerman Voni 4:46 Skin F

    34 noble brian 4:47 Wetsuit M

    42 Pettit Jayette 4:48 Wetsuit F

    79 Rogers Relay 4:48 Wetsuit M

    35 Wolf Colby 4:48 Skin F

    6 Wolf Joe 4:49 Skin M

    14 Baylis Chris 4:49 Skin M

    57 Classen Ken 4:50 Skin M

    18 Barber Rijl 4:51 Skin F

    69 Danielsen Relay 4:53 Skin M

    32 anaya cyane 4:56 Wetsuit F

    19 Batchelder John 4:59 Skin M

    58 Clifford Devon 5:01 Skin F

    23 Rosen Liz 5:01 Skin F

    41 Walker John 5:07 Skin M

    30 Knight Tracy 5:10 Skin F

    27 Hewitt Andrew 5:13 Skin M

    16 Vitcenda Jessica 5:17 Wetsuit F

    15 Gillis Peter 5:20 Skin M

    67 Thompson Relay 5:21 Skin Relay

    24 Keegan Shannon 5:22 Skin F

    11 Poulshock David 5:24 Wetsuit M

    22 van Amerongen Greg 5:25 Skin M

    62 McKirdy Relay 5:27 Skin Relay

    17 Rodriguez Heather 5:29 Wetsuit f

    72 Tillman Relay 5:30 Wetsuit Relay

    8 Katz Dana 5:32 Wetsuit F

    74 Miller Relay 5:34 Wetsuit Relay

    53 Morrison Jeff 5:34 Skin M

    13 Anastas Daemon 5:36 Skin M

    47 Roberts Sarah 5:37 Skin F

    5 Petersen Rachel 5:40 Skin F

    70 Anderson Relay 5:47 Wetsuit Relay

    9 Nemecek Brian 5:56 Skin M

    64 Meehan Relay 5:56 Skin Relay

    12 Lux Meredith 5:56 Skin F

    29 Vivas Carlos 5:59 Skin M

    21 Johnson Catherine 5:59 Wetsuit F

    52 Simmons Ross 6:00 Skin M

    76 Merryfield Relay 6:00 Skin Relay

    10 Tangdit Gay-lynn 6:14 Wetsuit F

    75 Ergo Relay 6:21 Skin Relay

    4 Hopson Stephanie 6:25 Skin F

    65 Yasuhara Relay 6:34 Wetsuit Relay

    80 Hutcheson Relay 6:39 Wetsuit Relay

    63 Harrison Relay 6:54 Skin Relay

    25 Walker Heidi DNF F

    44 Grady Patrick DNF Skin M

    Some local press:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/07/portland_bridge_swim_over_70_s.html#incart_river_home (some good pictures included)


  • Congrats @ssthomas - nice swim!! This truly is a great event. Registration and kayak pick-up / drop-off were both a breeze. Weather was incredible and water temp was super comfy at 70 degrees. Conditions varied from glassy to a bit of head-wind and light chop, but really nothing significant at all. No current assist, but that was OK since everything else was in our favor. Volunteers were great. Such a cool way to see the city.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited July 2017

    Wow @liz_rosen and @ssthomas - congrats!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    Anyone coming to Portland Oregon July 7-8 weekend? I'll be there with @trouble and @KarahNazor. Come say hi. I'll be in the bright green MSF shirt :D


  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    See you there!


    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    Man, that swim sounds kind of cool. I'm still working my way up to the bigger distances. Sorry to hear there's no current assist... ;) Maybe next year.

    @wendyv34 Darn! didn't know there was a qualifying swim for this. I did a 10x500 in the allotted time when I saw you the other day. You could have counted my laps until you died of boredom...

Sign In or Register to comment.