The Yin And Yang Of The Big Apple

The Yin And Yang Of The Big Apple

Photo courtesy of John Keller. Article courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

I haven’t done the swim without thinking of quitting or wondering why I would come back to do it again,” recalls Kristian Rutford of Nebraska about swimming the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

But the depths to which he goes and the demons that he encounters during the 28.5-mile circumnavigation around New York City are apparently not sufficient to keep the accountant away from the annual race in the Big Apple.

This year, Rutford completed his 20th circumnavigation, a significant landmark in the 99-year history of athletes swimming around Manhattan. “My failed attempts were in 1994 which was my first attempt at reverse circumnavigation and in 2001. In 2001, I took a DNF at the George Washington Bridge after standing on shore for over 45 minutes due to lightning, which was the second time that day the race was halted. They restarted the swim and it was still lightning and I opted out. In 2003 and 2005, I did not participate due to water quality issues.”

Rutford completed the following Manhattan Island Marathon Swims:

1. August 1988 – fifth in 7:48.56
2. August 1989 – sixth in 7:56.39
3. August 1990 – fourth in 7:10.04
4. August 1991 – second in 7:06.44
5. August 1992 – solo in 5:53.57 (record at the time)
6. August 1993 – first in 7:26.30
7. August 1995 – solo reverse direction in 17:48.30 (first)
8. August 1996 – fourth in 7:33.13
9. July 1997 – fourth in 7:26.26
10. July 1998 – fifth in 7:47.31
11. June 1999 – fourth in 7:10.24
12. September 2003 – solo in 8:36.15
13. July 2004 – eighth in 7:51.18
14. June 2007 – 13th in 9:51.03
15. July 2008 – eighth in 7:55.17
16. June 2010 – 11th in 8:21.15
17. June 2011 – 16th in 8:18.45
18. June 2012 – 12th in 8:10.29
19. August 2013 – quiet swim in 8:22.20
20. June 2014 – 1st group 2 in 8:42.53

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