Julie Ridge, Taking It To The Limit

Julie Ridge, Taking It To The Limit

Photo courtesy of Ron Modra for Sports Illustrated Magazine, Manhattan Island.

Julie Ridge authored Take It to the Limit: Endurance: How to Build It into Everything You Do in 1985.

The Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame certainly took her talents to the limit in the open water. Over the course of her career, she completed a crossing of the English Channel and 11 circumnavigation swims around Manhattan Island.

In 1983, she was the first to complete a double 91.8 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in 21 hours 2 minutes.

The next year, she completed the Hawaii Ironman triathlon. The year after that, she set a Guinness Book of World Records by swimming around Manhattan Island each day for 5 consecutive days. Her original plan was for 6 straight days, but the first day was cancelled due to weather conditions. Her swim on Day Two was 8 hours 50 minutes, her swim on Day Three was 9 hours, her swim on Day Four was also 9 hours, her swim on Day Five was another 9 hours, her swim on Day Six was 8 hours 35 minutes.

Between 1983 and 1991, she helped organize the Manhattan Island Swimming Association and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. After her stint helping others do the swim, she bicycled across America with her father Frank Ridge in 1991.

Over the years in her capacity of organizing the swim, Ridge compiled a treasure trove of newspaper articles and original swim documents up until 1991.

Her file cabinets are filled with long-lost recollections of the early years of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (aka 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim).

Her hardcover book is available for sale on www.frankridgememorialfoundation.org.

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Steven Munatones