The History Behind And After Budney Beach

The History Behind And After Budney Beach

The History Behind And After Budney Beach

Courtesy of WOWSA, Lake Erie.

Budney Beach is located at Beach 10 along the north shoreline of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park.

The beautiful vista is both the finish and start of marathon swimming across Lake Erie. In 1975, Pat Budney set off with swimming buddy Tim Hughes. Hughes gave it his all, but it was not in the cards and he was ultimately pulled within 3 miles of their goal. Budney continued on and finished in 25 hours 52 minutes.

His finish point was renamed in his honor and helped set the stage for 14 other swimmers to replicate his exploit. Each swimmer had their own motivations and their own story of determination, dedication and difficulties across the challenging lake. It will be an ongoing story.

1975: Pat Budney swam 26 miles in 25 hours 52 minutes from Long Point, Ontario to Presque Isle State Park – Beach 10, Erie, Pennsylvania
1989: Bob North and Harvey Snell swam 24.3 miles from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach, North East, Pennsylvania
1993: Halli Reid swam 24.3 miles in 17 hours from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach, North East, Pennsylvania (first woman)
1995: Greg Sarbak swam 24.3 miles in 13 hours 30 minutes from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2002: Paula Jongerden swam 24.3 miles in 23 hours 36 minutes from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania to Long Point, Ontario
2005: Sara McClure swam 24.3 miles from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2006: Josh Heynes swam 24.3 miles in 11 hours 53 minutes from Aug 9, 2006-Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2007: Dan Nichols swam 26 miles in 20 hours 45 minutes 57 seconds from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania to Long Point, Ontario
2007: Sonya Pyle (shown above) swam 24.3 miles in 14 hours 9 minutes from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2009: Randy McElwain swam 24.3 miles in 11 hours 23 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2010: Mitch Ranzenberger swam 24.3 miles in 17 hours 47 minutes from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania
2011: Josh Heynes swam 24.3 miles in 11 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania (world record time)
2011: Melanie Reade swam 24.3 miles in 13 hours 35 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania (record time for women)
2011: Randy McElwain swam 32 miles in 16 hours 26 minutes 6 seconds from Long Point, Ontario to Dobbin’s Landing – Erie, Pennsylvania (longest distance across Lake Erie)
2012: Eric Mizuba swam 24.3 miles in 14 hours 34 minutes from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach – North East, Pennsylvania

To learn more about swimming across Lake Erie, contact Lake Erie marathon swimming historian and 2-time swimmer Josh Heynes at [email protected].

Photo of Sonya Pyle by Cyndy Patton.

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