River Hugger

HAPpy People - Michelle Boisvert

November 25, 2018

Q. How did you find the River Huggers and how long have you been swimming with us?
A. When I first moved to Portland, I immediately joined the Portland Triathlon Club. I put a request out on their feed—looking for someone to swim with me earlier in the season. Janie Malloy responded and met me at Vancouver Lake. She told me about the River Huggers, so I investigated the group. I’ve been swimming ...

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HAPpy People - Enda Grogan

October 30, 2018
Q:  So, Enda, I hear you’re from Ireland. Have you always been a swimmer? 
Like most kids, my parents signed me up for swimming lessons from an early age. Other sporting commitments took precedence so I drifted away, only swimming casually in my teens. I started back three years ago and have had the bug ever since. 
Q:  What international swims ...

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HAPpy People - Christina Malango

May 29, 2018
So, Christina, what do you do in real life?
     I have my dream job!  I am an advice nurse in a women's clinic.  My coworkers are midwives and doulas working mostly with pregnant women.
How long have you been swimming with the River Huggers?
     Willie wrote an article for my neighborhood newspaper explaining what HAP is and inviting people ...

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HAPpy People - Chris Farmer

April 23, 2018
How long have you been swimming? 
I’ve been swimming since age 3.  Mom was a swim teacher.  I was on the high school swim team in LA and consistently placed 7th in LA city for backstroke.
How did you find the River Huggers?
Word of mouth.  A friend told me about the group.
How do you respond when people are repelled by the notion that ...

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HAPpy People - Gretchen Jackson

March 19, 2018
Gretchen Jackson
Q. Usually, winter is a down time for open water swimmers, but not for you. What exciting swim-related things do you have coming up?
Ha! All of the open water swimmers I know are continuing to challenge me to get in the Willamette each week! I must be hanging out with the wrong bunch. Ha. Ha. :)
This year I really jumped into my first real season of consistent pool swim training. I've ...

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HAPpy People: Cindy Werhane

January 23, 2018
What is this about the rumor that you started out doing Synchronized Swimming?
CW: When I was young, we lived blocks away from a Park District Pool. I spent as much time as possible there. By enrolling in Synchro I could start my day there at 10-12 for synchro, 12-1 for swim team, 1-5 for open swim, 6-9 for open swim. Once I was old enough to life guard, I had the option of teaming swim lessons ...

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HAPpy People: Tom Vandel

November 3, 2017
Meet HAP Board Member and Editor-in-Chief, Tom Vandel. T-Bone as some call him is a professional copywriter/creative director with a one-man firm called Les Overhead. He served as a River Hugger safety kayaker one year and swam the Mayoral Swim in high-top Converse tennis shoes, which he does not recommend.
Were you a swimmer as a kid?
Yeah, I have three younger brothers and we went to the pool every ...

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HAPpy People: meet Dave Hayden

October 8, 2017
Meet River Hugger and intrepid open water swimmer, Dave Hayden, interviewed by Christina Malango. Dave is a father, swimmer, aerial dancer, and ______ (who knows what else).
Q:  What else belongs on this list of who you are and what you do?  
A:  Father, swimmer, yep! I’m really excited about getting to do both at the same time as Cora grows up, and I hope she comes to feel as ...

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HAPpy People with Janie Malloy

September 22, 2017
 Meet River Hugger and intrepid open water swimmer, Janie Malloy, interviewed by Christina Malango. Janie lives in an historic house in Canby, is an Airbnb host, realtor, landscape designer, triathlete, and originator of the Naked Goddess Swim. For starters. 
Q:  Have you always done a dozen things at once in your life? 
A:  Yes, life is art, and I make beautiful art by being creative, ...

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River Hugger Report

September 21, 2017
The record-breaking heat of this summer only added to the enthusiasm with which our city embraced the mighty downtown Willamette. The River Huggers Swim Team had a fantastic season, logging 62 swims during our regular season (June 15 – September 15), and drawing record numbers: Most swims included thirty-plus participants, and new members continued to join through the season.
Thanks to some important groundwork ...

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HAPpy People: Garrett Martin

May 16, 2017
By Christina Malango
Meet Garrett Martin – architect, teacher, swimmer, River Hugger, dreamer extraordinaire. In short, a pretty cool dude.

How did you encounter the River Huggers?  

One morning two summers ago I was riding my bike across the Hawthorne bridge into work, I looked down and saw a bunch of people in bathing suits and swim caps just getting out of the water. I’d ...

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HAPpy People: Meet Jim McGinn

February 18, 2017
Meet River Hugger, Jim McGinn, interviewed by Christina Malango.
Jim McGinn, Charter River Hugger Member, Dad, Outdoors Dude, Dancer, overall bad ass.

You started long-distance ocean swimming in California in the 1980s in cold, rough conditions. What drove you to do that? 
When I first moved to Redondo Beach in the early 80’s I met Ron Argueta who was sort of the quintessential CA ocean ...

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HAPpy People: Meet Stephanie Debner

January 19, 2017
Meet River Hugger, Stephanie Debner, interviewed by Christina Malango.
How did you discover the River Huggers and why do you love swimming with them?
I was introduced to the River Huggers by fellow River Hugger, Hilary. We swim at the same pool and she knew that I'd been swimming the Columbia channel crossing for a number of years, so she thought I'd like being a River Hugger. She was right!
You ...

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HAPpy People: Meet Jenny Ampersand

December 7, 2016
Meet Jenny Ampersand, runner up in The Big Float 6 costume contest.
Describe your TBF costume and how you made it. Was it hard to integrate the requirement for a portable floating device?
My costume was the River Siren. It was inspired by work I was doing with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble that involved sea shanties, Moby Dick, and lots of liquid latex. I created a creature that  combined ...

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HAPpy People: Meet Adam Murray

November 4, 2016

Meet Adam Murray, HAP River Hugger and all-around interesting guy. Interviewed by Christina Malango.

How did you get involved with the River Huggers?

Rock climbing and bike trips used to be my jam, but I had a disabling accident in 2008 that effectively retired me from those sports. I found that swimming greatly improved my well being, but I could only manage a few pool lengths and I hated (hated) doing ...

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HAPpy People

October 7, 2016
Meet Leah Middlebrook, River Hugger and HAP Board Member, interviewed by Christina Malango.
How did you learn about the River Huggers and start swimming with the group?

On Facebook, of all things! The call for River Huggers appeared in one of those random You Might Like items that creeps into your news feed. That was three years ago and it was love at first plunge. :)
Did you have ...

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