Kate, Justin, Patrick and Rick Horan with their rowing shell and American Lung Association banner in Rockaway.
Rick Horan rowed his 19 foot shell around Manhattan Island on Sunday, September 26 for the benefit of the American Lung Association of New York. This effort was designed to raise awareness for the fight against asthma and other lung diseases that affect a significant number of people in the City of New
York. John and Barbara Giannasca escorted Horan, as they did last year, when he rowed from Rockaway Beach, Queens to Sandy Hook, NJ.
Early Sunday morning, the Giannascas departed their Point Lookout, NY marina, and picked up Rick and his boat off the coast of Rockaway Beach enroute to New York Harbor. Horan's solo 28.5 mile row began at the Manhattan bridge at about 8:30 am. Their counterclockwise route around Manhattan took them past
some of the most famous structures in the city and also through some
potentially dangerous areas. Infamous rough water sections include Hell Gate, where the East River and the inlet to Long Island Sound meet, and Spuyten Duyvil, where the Harlem and Hudson rivers meet.
In addition to having swift currents and changing tides, New York City has one of the world's busiest ports. As a result, there is the constant
movement of ferries, cruise ships, tugboats and barges. Then there is the physical challenge itself. "Although rowing can be exhausting, the hardest part for me is sitting in the same position for hours on end," Horan said.
"Standing up to stretch in the choppy water can cause the boat to tip over, especially when you're tired," he added.
Fortunately, the weather, water conditions and river traffic cooperated to produce a very pleasant ride. "With the likelihood of storms this time of the year, we were lucky to have had such a great day," said Horan.
"I can't imagine a more scenic trip, he added. "The buildings and bridges
looked even more majestic than usual from my water-level perspective. Rowing past such icons as the Brooklyn bridge, United Nations, Yankee Stadium, the George Washington bridge, the Intrepid and World Trade Center gave me a new
appreciation of our city," added Horan.
Six hours and 4,500 strokes later, Horan completed his journey where it began, at the foot of the Manhattan bridge. "It's a great feeling to
finish," he said. I appreciate the support I have received in order to
accomplish this personal goal, especially from John and Bo Giannasca. My next challenge is to raise $3,000 in donations for the American Lung
Association of New York as a result of this effort," Horan said. "That will
make all the work worthwhile."
"The American Lung Association of New York's mission is to promote lung health and prevent lung disease," said John Giannasca. "Bo and I are happy to participate in such a worthwhile cause," he added. Hopefully we can help Rick generate contributions that will help The ALA-NY's public education, research and advocacy programs," said Bo. "As an asthma sufferer myself, this
event is of particular importance to me. I hope we are able to bring some
attention to this common but serious illness," she added.
Rick, John and Bo are asking other New Yorkers to help them raise money for the American Lung Association of NY. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to the ALA of NY at 432 Park avenue south, New York, NY, 10016. Donations can also be made by phone by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA or 1-212-889-3370. Mention that you read about the row around Manhattan and let them know if you are interested in participating in a similar event next year.
Rick Horan, 46, is in the computer industry and resides in Belle Harbor,
Queens with his wife Kathy and three children. This is the second year Horan has rowed for the American Lung Association under the watchful eyes of his good friends, John and Bo Giannasca of Point Lookout, NY.