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Finish Lines: Judy Caves

Judy Caves, Sleepy Hollow Road, is in it for the long haul. This summer the Seton LaSalle High School counselor and lifelong competitive swimmer completed a 19.8-mile swim in early June, followed by a 13.2-mile swim the next day as part of the 8 Bridges Hudson River swim. In July she swam the Border Buster, a 25-kilometer event beginning in Vermont and ending in Quebec.

What led you to swim these long distances?

When I swam competitively in high school and college, I always swam the distance events.  When I started swimming Masters as an adult, I learned about open water events. I started off swimming a 2-mile race at Moraine State Park. After that I thought, oh, I wonder if I could race three miles, or more, and one thing led to another. My next event was The Great Chesapeake Bay swim, 4 1/2 miles, which I swam three years. Then, 12 1/2 miles around Key West, then another 12 1/2 miles around Charleston, South Carolina. The events kept getting longer and longer. 

What’s your training schedule look like?

I swim 40,000 yards (22.7 miles) a week at the peak of my training. I swim with Lebo masters and then three times a week I fit in a second workout at L.A. Fitness. I also work out with a strength coach once a week.

You captained the girls’ swim team at Keystone Oaks. Tell us about your college experience at Bethany College.

When I attended Bethany in the late 1970s, there wasn’t a women’s swim team. I swam distance events on the men’s team. There was one other woman on the team. As the years passed, others joined. I ended up team captain.

What’s next on your race calendar?

I have not decided definitively, but I am considering a four-lake, four consecutive days, 40-mile event in Arizona called SCAR (the lakes are Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt.)