Monday, July 16, 2012

Yesterday, we watched the swimming competition of a lifetime - the only one in the world that spans two continents just like Istanbul itself.

More than 1,000 people, including former Olympic-gold winner American Mark Spitz as well as U.S. Istanbul Consulate's Consul General Scott Kilner, whom I have met and even saw yesterday, participated in 2012 Intercontinental Bosphorus Race. The race spanned a course from Kanlıca on the Asian side near the second bridge to the neighborhood of Kuruçeşme on the European side.

The fastest swimmers finished the course in under an hour. The winners were awarded medals in seven different age groups for both men's and women's categories. See news article here.
Two swimmers in the 2012 Intercontinental Bosphorus Race in Istanbul on July 15.

We watched the swimmers tackle the strong current of the Bosphorus along the shores of Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Parkı. I took a ton of photos and even a short video to give you an idea of what the day was like. Click here to see a video clip of the 2012  Intercontinental Bosphorous Race inIstanbul on YouTube.

I was amazed to see all the swimmers either beat the currents and push ahead in the race, or get stuck in a place in the Bosphorus where they seemed to go nowhere. There were several lifesaver boats in the water in case people needed assistance as well as a helicopter flying overhead.
On the left-hand side, you can see one of the helicopters above the bridge that was watching the swimmers for any dangers.
Later, we even saw a medic helicopter fly under the Bosphorus bridge, but missed taking a photo because we were so engrossed in the moment.

It was scorcher of a day, and I was wearing a black-striped sundress. Dumb me! We decided to take a stroll along the Bosphorus for awhile.

We saw families having picnics in the park and kids playing everywhere despite the heat.
Turkish families having a picnic in the park on Sunday.
These two girls were having fun in the park.
Before we got to Arnavutköy, we also saw a wedding party on a gorgeous wooden yacht. Fancy Turkish wedding.
Turkish wedding party on the Bosphorus in Istanbul.
We ended up walking 3.5 km and rewarded ourselves with some nicely chilled beer at TAPS Brewery in Bebek. I swear it's the only place in all of Istanbul where you can drink a brewed beer that's not Efes Pilsner or Turborg on tap. Not that I don't mind Efes.
Look at all the boats passing through the Bosphorus after the waterway was opened following the race.
It was another beautiful afternoon in Istanbul together, but next time I need to remember to apply sunscreen if we are out for that long! Sunburned shoulders. 

Who else watched the swimmers yesterday?

Docking near the finish line.

Here you can see the results for the female swimmers age 30-39.
Fully covered woman on the left while young boy sits along the Bosphorus.
I kinda thought this photo was funny. One of the swimmers between two ambulances after the race.

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Karen said...

Whenever I see men swimming in the Bosphorus, I never see any women. It's nice to know that women participated! What a fun event.

Joy said...

@Karen, there were many women, but definitely more men swimming in the Bosphorus. Did you notice an American woman placed 3rd in the 30-39 category? Yay!

Julia said...

Wow, good on them. Would prefer to be a spectator taking photos rather than a participant! ;)

Joy said...

@Julia, I'm definitely a bystander for this one. But hubby hopes to compete in the race next year!

Andrew Graeme Gould said...

A great courage of this event, Joy. Sounds like a very enjoyable day!