By Kirsten Corssen
The ocean was a crystal blue with not a cloud in the sky on Saturday, July 8, as the swimmers took their mark. The horn blew and you could see a mass of people in swim-caps dash toward the water while jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, and surfboards were all stationed to monitor the swimmers and keep track of their progress. The 6th Annual Fire Island Ocean Charity Swim was on.
Bryan Krut could not have been more pleased with the conditions. As an Open Water Swim Coach, and the race organizer, he is the driving force behind it, with, of course, help from his amazing family and a team of dedicated volunteers.
Although Bryan may run the swim, this year he was far from the start. As of a matter of fact his two children stole the show. Evan Krut is a 7-year-old master swimmer, and this was his first ever ocean swim. He swam in the children’s 400-meter swim and finished strong with a medal. Right in front of him the whole time was his 9-year-old sister, Samantha Krut. She swam past the rest of the boys and finished strong earning a medal as well.
After the 400-meter swim came to an end, the rest of the swimmers took off into the Atlantic Ocean for the remaining two races – the one-mile and 5K swims. Both races had participants with a wide range of age groups and swimming levels who traveled from many locations to participate.
Corinne Buda from Long Beach is an experienced triathlon runner but is currently training for an Ironman race this fall. She is an atypical adult participant because she only learned how to swim three years ago.
Kenny Moore came from just across the bay in Sayville. He finished the one mile swim with a gold medal in his hand and a smile on his face. “I have been training a long time with Bryan’s Ocean Water Swims Program,” said Kenny after regaining his land legs. His training took a year with indoor pool practices and lighthouse swims in the summer.
Right behind Kenny was Rich Barkan from Long Beach. He is an experienced triathlon runner and is training for a Spartan Race. This was his first trip to Fire Island. “My friends talked me into this race, it was a great decision,” says Rich. “I personally enjoy long swims better. Long training is all about mind training, the physical end is only half of it.”
About an hour after the one-mile swimmer came in, the 5K swimmers started running to the finish line. Sean Cuthbertson came in first, and soon had the coveted gold medal in his hand. Most of the 5K swimmers came in under an hour and a half – excellent swim times indeed.
Not only were the swimmers happy to participate in and finish the race on this great day, they were happy knowing that this was a charity swim with all proceeds going to Hospice Care Network Children and Family Bereavement.
A big shout out to all the volunteers, the sponsors, the Krut family and all those who helped make another fantastic swim happen.
This event was sponsored by Northwell Health, Fire Island Ferries, Maguire’s Restaurant, South Shore Paddleboards and BANFI Vintners among others.
To learn more about OWS visit www.openwaterswimli.com.