PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Angie Williamson embarked on her longest swim yet this weekend on the lower Willamette River to raise awareness about safe and equitable access to water -- and she completed it.
On Saturday, July 23, Williamson -- who is an open water and marathon swimmer -- swa, 24.6 miles down the river from the mouth of the Clackamas River in Oregon City to the Columbia at Kelley Point Park.
According to an announcement, Williamson will set a record as the first swimmer to complete the route under the rules of the Marathon Swimming Federation.
“My plan is to swim as slow as I can for as long as I can,” Williamson said. “People don’t realize that the Willamette is a tidally affected river. This means that while we do have downstream current, we also need to be aware of the tides coming in and out because that can greatly change the flow.”
She is also promoting local organizations in the community, such as the Black Swimming Initiative, which provides more opportunities in water sports and a strong sense of belonging for Black athletes of all backgrounds. Athletes can also learn about safe and accessible water safety and swimming instruction.
“We really try to elevate Black leadership, and I specifically try to take a step back and be a more supportive role,” Williamson said. “What that means, especially in this case, is providing some funding. I don’t have a lot of money, but I love to swim. That can inspire a lot of people to donate to a cause that’s really trying to do some good.”
As for the event, Williamson has been training all winter and upping her training to 20 to 25 miles a week as the event nears.