Laura Picardo is a marathon swimmer based in New York City. She was drawn to distance ocean swimming after she came to terms with the fact that she would never turn into a seal or an orca whale. Laura has participated in several 5K and 10K swims, and shorter swims near NYC landmarks, including around the Statue of Liberty and under the Brooklyn Bridge. In 2016, Laura swam 26 kilometers (16.2 miles) from the tip of Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The swim was in honor of Gertrude Ederle who swam that route to train for her historic 1926 English Channel swim. She is also an annual stage participant and volunteer in the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, a 7-day 193K (120 mile) swim down the Hudson River presented by New York Open Water. Laura is currently training to swim 45.9 K (28.5 miles) around Manhattan in June 2017, and is coached by Bonnie Schwartz Nolan. Most importantly, marathon swimming has given her confidence, community, and a continued respect for the oceans we all share. When she’s not swimming, Laura produces educational videos for NBC Learn, is planning a wedding with her marathon running fiance, and is an avid reader.