From asia to europe…
We are briefly going to explain what is Bosphorus through History, the Route, Participants, our Experience, in case you are thinking to do the same challenge another year. Let´s start from the top.
The Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim (Turkish: Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı) is an open water swimming event between the continents Europe and Asia held annually at Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey. Established in 1989, the event is organized by the Turkish Olympic Committee and sponsored by Samsung.
The route starts at the Pier of Kanlıca, north of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, in the Asian part of Istanbul, runs southwards, and finishes at Cemil Topuzlu Park in Kuruçeşme, north of the Bosphorus Bridge, in the European part of the city.
This year, 22nd of July 2018, 2,400 swimmers, including over 800 females with half of them being foreigners, from over 50 countries participate at the event, including us, one Polish and one Spanish woman (who was the only one from Spain swimming Bosphorus this year). Currently, the number of foreign swimmers is limited to 1,000, and only up to 300 are permitted to participate from each country. There are 12 age categories for each gender, from the age of 14 to 70 and over 80.
Karolina and I, set the alarm around 6am, ready and packed, we ate our healthy breakfast to fuel ourselves for this big big thing. Also, It was the beginning of our PROJECT so we were over excited plus a bit nervous. However, we knew all was going to be ok, there is always that tiny doubt of ´What if...?¨ but who cares? we were going to be together, shoulder with shoulder until this international swim was completed.
At 8.10 am, we left our lovely apartment, took a Taksi (it cost us 25Liras) and we arrived at the forum where the event was celebrating. So many swimmers from all over the world. That was really inspiring.
After so many problems with the committee at the beginning, I have to corroborate that the event was 100% well organized.
I am still not knowing the reasons why we were divided by colors but, we had a lila cup so we got into the second boat after the orange group.
At the boat, you could feel the excitement. We were really impressed by the amount of people with different ages and shapes. People came from Russia, LA (California), New York, Poland, UK, France, Croacia, Ukrania...just WOW! but it was even better to hear stories from elder people who were doing this race every year since it started.
This turkish man below was the number 002 and he is 86 years old. Is that not inspiring? He also offered his house next year in the island where he lives. Turkish people are super friendly.
It was 10 am, and hour turn to jump into the Bosphorus Strait. We are a team, we were going to start and finish together. And so we did.
This gentleman above, gave us the best tips which I am going to share with you. Once you jump into the water, swim in diagonal until you are in the middle of the bridge, you must feel the cold current and also remember not to be neither at the right or left of the current as you will not be able to come back to the middle.
His tip was having the Turkish massive flag or the castle as a reference for us to navigate and so we did. We followed all the steps but, there was one but. The current pushed us too far from the little island in the Strait where we had to turn right just after 300m. As I was navigating, I promise, I didn´t see it. But we had a plan B, which followed the same of those who finished first, second and third. Once you see the finish line and you are close to the Bosphorus Bridge, you will have to swim back in diagonal. Do not be afraid! you will find another cold current which will push you ´till the end.
OH YEAH !!! WE MADE IT. We climbed those stairs and we were out from the water, and we couldn´t believe it. I am sure we did 8km as we went pushed far from the finish line but OH MY....we DID IT!! We cried, we hugged, and Cezary was there to inmortalize that moment. We WERE ALL SO HAPPY.
And I was feeling so proud, so proud of Karolina for completing her first long distance open water swim, so proud of us, as there is no better feeling of doing something like this with another person you love, so proud of myself, for how strong we are, women in this world.
You, You, YOU, YOU....yes YOU! Always remember, you are stronger than you think, you are ready, prepared for all what life throws to you. Dreams can also become true if you trust in yourself.
Last but not least, thank you to all our family, friends and beloved ones who were supporting us the whole time. And thanks to our Media-Press man Cezary Kowalczyk for capturing these beautiful pictures.
We own you another event like this soon. Keep an eye on us,