Man vs. Woman vs. Wild (World Marathon Swim Records)

Man vs. Woman vs. Wild (World Marathon Swim Records)

In a cursory review of the world marathon swimming records in various channels and lakes around the world, it appears that women are holding their own against the men.

The list below is only a very short list of all the world records in marathon swimming – all done without wetsuits. With over 70% of the Earth covered in water, the number of records and locations to swim are numerous and potentially endless.

If you know of additional records, please send the name, country, year and time to World Marathon Swimming Records for posting at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website.

Females who hold overall marathon records include Karen Burton of the USA holds the fastest Catalina Channel crossing from Catalina to the California mainland in 7 hours and 43 minutes.

Penny Dean of the USA holds the fastest Catalina Channel crossing from California to Catalina Island in 7 hours and 15 minutes.

Denise Anderson of New Zealand holds the fastest Cook Strait crossing (from South Island to North Island) in 5 hours and 4 minutes.

Cindy Cleveland of the USA holds the fastest crossing of Monterey Bay, south of San Francisco, as well as the fastest circumnavigation around Catalina Island.

Patti Bauernfeind holds the fastest lengthwise crossing of Lake Tahoe in 10 hours and 38 minutes.

Alison Streeter of Great Britain holds the fastest crossing of the North (Irish) Channel from Ireland to Scotland in 9 hours and 53 minutes.

Alison Streeter also holds the fastest crossing of the North (Irish) Channel from Scotland to Ireland in 10 hours and 2 minutes.

Julia Bradshaw of the UK holds the fastest butterfly-only English Channel crossing of 14 hours and 18 minutes.

Tina Neil of the USA holds the fastest backstroke-only English Channel crossing in 13 hours and 22 minutes.

Tina Neil also holds the fastest backstroke-only Catalina Channel crossing in 10 hours and 37 minutes.

Michelle Macy holds the fastest crossing of the Clarence Strait in Alaska in 6 hours and 36 minutes.

Penny Palfrey of Australia (shown above swimming) holds the fastest San Miguel Channel (30 miles from San Miguel Island to the California mainland near Santa Barbara) in 11 hours and 29 minutes.

Penny also holds the fastest 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel crossing (Hawaii to Maui) in 14 hours and 51 minutes.

Penny also holds the fastest Santa Barbara Channel (40 miles from Santa Barbara Island to the Calfornia mainland) in 17 hours and 53 minutes.

Elaine Kornbau Howley and Greg O’Connor, both of the USA, jointly hold the fastest two-way crossing of the 16-mile Boston Harbor in 7 hours and 7 minutes.

Elizabeth Fry of the USA holds the fastest reverse circumnavigation (in the clockwise direction) around Manhattan Island in 11 hours and 41 minutes.

Shelley Taylor-Smith holds the fastest circumnavigation around Manhattan Island in New York in 5 hours and 45 minutes – a record that some men are going to attempt to break on September 10th.

On the men’s side on the equation, here are some records and record holders:

Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria (holds the fastest English Channel crossing (England-to-France) in 6 hours and 57 minutes (shown above) although the overall English Channel record has been held by several women throughout history from Gertrude Ederle and Greta Andersen to Lynne Cox and Penny Dean).

Stéphane Lecat of France holds the fastest 32K crossing of lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 6 hours and 22 minutes.

Paul Asmuth of the USA holds the fastest two-way (64K) crossing of lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 17 hours and 6 minutes.

John Kinsella of the USA holds the fastest (50K) crossing of Lake Ontario in Canada in 13 hours and 49 minutes.

Richard Davey of the UK holds the fastest English Channel crossing (France-to-England – a direction no longer swum as a one-way crossing) in 8 hours and 5 minutes.

Philip Rush of New Zealand holds the fastest two-way English Channel crossing in 16 hours and 10 minutes.

Philip also holds the fastest three-way English Channel crossing in 28 hours and 21 minutes.

Fredrik Jacques of Belgium holds the fastest breaststroke-only English Channel crossing of 13 hours and 31 minutes.

Casey Glover of New Zealand holds the fastest Cook Strait crossing (North Island-to-South Island) in 4 hours and 37 minutes.

Philip Rush holds the fastest two-way Cook Strait crossing in 16 hours and 16 minutes.

Philip also holds the fastest one-way crossing of Lake Taupo in New Zealand in 10 hours and 14 minutes and the fastest two-way crossing.

Chris Palfrey of Australia holds the fastest Molokai Channel crossing (between Oahu and Molokai) in 12 hours and 53 minutes.

Georgios Charcharis of Greece holds the fastest Strait of Gibraltar crossing (between Spain and Morocco) in 2 hours and 16 minutes.

Mark Saliba of Australia holds the fastest Rottnest Channel crossing (Western Australia to Rottnest Island) in 4 hours and 15 seconds.

James Jonsson holds the fastest crossing of Bear Lake (19 miles) on the border of Utah and Idaho in 8 hours and 53 minutes.

Ned Denison of Ireland holds the fastest Santa Cruz Channel (20 miles from Santa Cruz Island to the California mainland near Santa Barbara) in 10 hours and 27 minutes.

Marc Lewis of the USA holds the fastest Santa Rosa Channel (30 miles from Santa Rosa Island to the California mainland near Santa Barbara) in 15 hours and 46 minutes.

John York holds the fastest two-way crossing of the Catalina Channel in 16 hours and 42 minutes.

Steven Munatones of the USA holds the fastest Tsugaru Channel crossing from Hokkaido-to-Honshu in 6 hours and 39 minutes and from Honshu-to-Hokkaido in 6 hours and 11 minutes.

Steven also holds the fastest crossing of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, (42K) in 10 hours and 36 minutes.

Yu Lixin of China holds the fastest crossing of Poyang Lake (Chinese: 鄱阳湖), the largest lake in China, in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Maarouf Mohamed of Egypt holds the fastest time of 5 hours and 51 minutes in the 26.4K International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim from Rapperswil to Zürich in Lake Zürich, Switzerland.

Nick Caine of the USA holds the fastest Anacapa Channel (Anacapa Island to the California mainland near Santa Barbara) in 5 hours and 3 minutes.

Nick Adams of England holds the fastest crossing from Jersey to France in 7 hours and 3 minutes.

Nick also holds the fastest circumnavigation of Jersey (Round Jersey) in 9 hours and 51 minutes.

Chris Derks of the USA holds the fastest completion of the 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 7 hours and 41 minutes.

Douglas Miller of Fiji holds the fastest completion of the 18K Fiji Swims in 4 hours and 56 minutes.

Ken Brewer of Great Britain holds the fastest crossing from the Isle of Wight to Southampton in 6 hours and 33 minutes.

For corrections and additions, please send the name, country, year and time to World Marathon Swimming Records.

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