Kris Rutford, A Man About Town

Kris Rutford – like Alison Streeter in the English Channel, Harry Huffaker in the Hawaiian Islands or John York in Catalina Channel – is one of those marathon swimmers who just cannot get enough.

He has swum around Manhattan Island a total of 16 times – in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 , 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010. He won the 1993 race and set a world record of 5 hours and 53 minutes in 1992 which still remains the fastest male circumnavigation of Manhattan Island. But his 17 hour and 48 minutes solo in 1995 was a stand-out swim – the first reverse (clockwise) circumnavigation around Manhattan Island where he had to fight the tides and currents for the 28.5-mile journey.

Outside of New York City, the CPA from Nebraska also continued to make his mark on the marathon swimming world. He still holds the record for swim across Lake McConaughy in his home state of Nebraska – 22 miles in 7 hours and 48 minutes – and completed a 10:44 crossing of the English Channel in 1988. He also participated in the USA Swimming national 25K championships and a FINA World Cup in Sylvan Lake in Canada. “I recall the Sylvan Lake swim was shortened to 26K due to weather,” he recalled.

Like many marathon swimmers who give back to the sport, his activities did not start and stop at the shoreline. Kris has also been a member of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim application committee for a decade and served as the Director of the Open Water Swimming competition that is part of the Cornhusker State Games from 1991 – 2000.

16 circumnavigations – a total of 456 miles (730K) – around Manhattan Island is a testament to his longevity and passion for the sport, a true man about town.

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