Petaluma Realtor Kathie Hewko, fashionably adorned in a new lime-green wet suit, is a step closer to a Cal Ripken-like record for consistency.
Hewko, 71, recently completed her 93rd Golden Gate Bridge Swim, traveling from Sn Francisco the length of the Bridge to Marin County. The swim took her closer to her goal of 100 Golden Gate Bridge Swims.
Although she still suffers symptoms of the lyme disease that only a few months ago left her barely able to walk, Hewko reported having few problems with her most recent swim on Oct. 29.
“It was one of the easiest swims I have ever done,” she said. “The water was flat, it was like glass. The temperature was about 55 degrees and there wasn’t much of a tide.”
Hewko said she felt good after the swim. “I was a little tired, but overall I felt pretty good.”
For the first time in 41 years of swimming in the bay, Hewko wore a wet suit. She explained she wouldn’t have worn the suit had it not been green. “I don’t like black,” she said.
“It felt strange at first, but I got used to it. I can see why people like them. When the wet suit came off, I only shook for about two minutes.”
Hewko had planned to do two Bridge Swims in three weeks with the first set for Oct. 15. That was scrubbed because of the poor air quality created by the North Bay wild fires.
She came very close to not being able to do the Oct. 29 swim. The day before the scheduled swim, the bay was cloaked by fog, but the next day all was go and Hewko was able to move closer to her goal.
She was not alone on her most recent swim. Sponsored by the South End Rowing Club, the swim attracted 73 swimmers, including 30 first timers.
Hewko said that if she keeps feeling well, she should be able to complete her 100th swim by the time she is 75.