Great Ohio River Swim returns year after algae forced its cancellation

CINCINNATI -- Nearly 200 swimmers tried make it across the Ohio River to Kentucky and back this weekend, a record turnout for an annual fall event.

The ninth Great Ohio River Swim, which began Sunday morning at Cincinnati's Serpentine Wall, is the only cross-river swim along the entire length of the Ohio, event organizer Brewser Rhodes said.

And this year, he said, was the best so far.

"The water conditions are the best ever, the temperature of the air and the atmosphere is just wonderful," Rhodes said. Organizers had to cancel the swim last year because of potentially toxic algae blooms in the river.

The 900-yard swim goes to the Kentucky and returns to Ohio at the Cincinnati Public Landing finish line. Swimmers are required to sign a form that they've completed 1000 yards without stopping in the past two weeks.

"With all due respect, please do not enter this event if you  cannot sign the verification," the event's website warned.

Rhodes said the event shows off the beauty of the river and gives people an up-close and personal connection with the waterway.

Proceeds from the swim benefit the Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati's work in 20 local, urban high schools "to get urban teens out into nature year-round, paddling, fishing, hiking, cycling -- something that kids these days really need," Rhodes said.

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