12:23 PM: If you were anywhere near Alki Point around quarter till 11 this morning, you might have heard cheering. It was for Melissa Kegler, the marathon swimmer who’s attempting to become the first to do a “double lap of the Amy Hiland Swim” right now. That means she’s swimming roundtrip between Bremerton and Alki, The rules permitted her to get out of the water for a few minutes at the halfway mark.
A small group of supporters including fellow members of the Notorious Alki Swimmers were there to cheer her on. The Amy Hiland Swim, named for the first person known to complete it (in 1959), is 10.4 miles – so Kegler is aiming for almost 21 miles of swimming today; she started at 6:17 am. The Northwest Open Water Swimming Association tells us she’s “an accomplished marathon swimmer who has completed the ‘Triple Crown’ of marathon swims: the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and around Manhattan Island. She’s a regular at Alki Beach and has been training at Alki since 2014.” Today’s water temperature is in the mid-50s.
You can track Kegler’s progress here. This is the first of two big swims between Bremerton and Alki this weekend; as we reported Friday, six swimmers over 60 will swim the route as a relay tomorrow.
ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: NOWSA reports Kegler finished the 20.8-mile swim in 10:35:13.