Kristian Rutford

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Kristian Rutford is an accomplished American open water swimmer and is a 12-time Manhattan Island Marathon Swim participant. Rutford holds the record for the fastest male circumnavigation of Manhattan Island with his 1992 swim of 5 hours, 53 minutes 57 seconds. He also set the fastest crossing of Lake McConaughy in the state of Nebraska. Just before racing MIMS in 1997, he was quoted as musing, ‘I haven’t done the swim without thinking of quitting or wondering why I would come back to do it again.’

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 hour 44 minute 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.

Manhattan Island Marathon Swim

In addition to his participation in the 2012 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the quiet swim of 2013, he has completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1988 (7 hours 48 minutes), 1989 (7 hours 56 minutes), 1990 (7 hours 10 minutes), 1991 (7 hours 6 minutes), 1992 (5 hours 53 minutes), 1993 (7 hours 26 minutes), 1995 (17 hours 48 minutes in the reverse direction), 1996 (7 hours 33 minutes), 1997 (7 hours 26 minutes), 1998 (7 hours 47 minutes), 1999 (7 hours 10 minutes), 2003 (8 hours 36 minutes), 2004 (7 hours 51 minutes), 2007 (9 hours 51 minutes), 2008 (7 hours 55 minutes), 2010 (8 hours 21 minutes), 2011 (8 hours 18 minutes), and 2013 (8 hours 22 minutes). He did not finish the 1994, 1999 when the race was cancelled, 2001, 2003 or 2005 races.

Rutford won the 1993 race and set a world record of 5 hours 53 minutes in 1992 which still remains the fastest male circumnavigation of Manhattan Island. His 17 hour 48 minutes circumnavigation 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.

He is also 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.

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