The Longest Solo Marathon Swims In The World

The Longest Solo Marathon Swims In The World

Stroke after stroke, kilometer after kilometer, hour after hour, marathon swimmers have the unique physiological and psychological ability to go for a long time, day or night, warm or cold, rough or calm, marine life or not.

But in the case of ultra-marathon swimmers, they also have the remarkable ability to swim DAY after DAY.

Like the example of Antonio Abertondo, a 1964 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee shown above, these swimmers go on for what is seemingly forever.

Antonio swam many marathon swims in his native Argentina from 1942 to 1961. In 1946, he successfully crossed the Rio de la Plata in over 29 hours and a Strait of Gibraltar crossing in 1950. He completed five English Channel crossing (in 1950, 1951 and 1954), but his legacy is best embodied by his incredible 43 hour 10 minute two-way crossing of the English Channel in 1961. With only four minutes to rest onshore, Antonio nearly swam non-stop for two straight days.

Other ultra-marathon swimmers have followed courageously and steadily in Antonio’s wake. The longest solo marathon swims in the world as researched by The Daily News of Open Water Swimming include the following:

Lake:
1. Vicki Keith, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, completed a 64-mile (104 km) double-crossing of Lake Ontario in August 1987 in 56 hours and 10 minutes.
2. Abdul-Latif Abo-Heif of Egypt, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, completed a 60-mile (96.5 km) professional solo lake race across Lake Michigan on August 23-24, 1963 during the Jim Moran’s Lake Michigan Swim Challenge from Chicago, Illinois to Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan in 34 hours and 38 minutes.
3. Ted Erikson, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, finished the same 60-mile (96.5 km) swim in 37 hours and 31 minutes.
4. Yuko Matsuzaki, a former professional marathon swimmer from Japan and an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, completed a 51.5-mile (83 km) solo swim in 33 hours and 25 minutes in Lake Cane in Orlando, Florida on September 13th, 2008.
5. Yuko Matsuzaki completed a 50.9-mile (82 km) solo swim in 29 hours and 55 minutes in Lake Cane in Orlando, Florida in August 2007.
6. Greta Andersen, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, finished a 31-hour, 50-mile (80.4 km) professional solo lake race from Chicago, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin, the 1962 version of the Jim Moran’s Lake Michigan Swim Challenge.
7. Ted Erikson also finished that 1962 50-mile (80.4 km) Lake Michigan race in 35 hours and 45 minutes.
8. Vicki Keith completed a 80.2 km all-butterfly crossing of Lake Ontario in 63 hours and 40 minutes in 2005.

Ocean:
1. Susie Maroney (shown above), an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, swam 111.8 miles (180 km) from Cuba to Florida in May, 1997 (done in a shark cage and wetsuit)
2. Diana Nyad swam 42 hours non-stop in a 1978 attempt from Cuba to Florida after swimming 99.7 miles (160 km) but withdrew before reaching her goal in Cuba.
3. Susie Maroney swam 99.4 miles (160 km) from Jamaica to Cuba in September, 1999 (done in a shark cage and wetsuit)
4. Jon Erikson swam 63 miles (101 km) in a 38 hour 27 minute three-way crossing of the English Channel in August, 1981
5. Philip Rush swam 63 miles (101 km) in a 28 hour 21 minute three-way crossing of the English Channel in August, 1987
6. Alison Streeter swam 63 miles (101 km) in a 34 hour 40 minute three-way crossing of the English Channel in 1990
7. Susie Maroney swam 58 miles (93.6 km) from Mexico to Cuba in June, 1998 in 38 hours 33 minutes (a recognized Guinness world record)
8. Diana Nyad swam 50 miles (80.4 km) along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

River
1. Skip Storch, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, swam 85.5 miles (137.5 km) during a triple circumnavigation of Manhattan Island in August 2007 in 32 hours 52 minutes.

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