The first woman to successful complete a non-stop circumnavigation was Ida Elinosky in 1916 who did it in 11 hours and 35 minutes – not Diana in 1975.
Over the next several years, several other women also completed the 28.5-mile swim including Anne Priller (Benoit) who set the women’s record in 9:01 in 1930.
In the intermediate years, pollution, wars and other factors limited swimming around Manhattan Island, but Diana came roaring back in 1975 to set a new overall record of 7 hours and 57 minutes in a well-documented circumnavigation. Since her record swim, more than 600 swimmers have circled Manhattan with the overall record still held by a woman: 5 hours and 45 minutes by Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia, set in 1995.
NYC Swim posted a warm wish to Diana, “With so many accomplishments to her credit, Diana’s record needs no embellishment. We welcome her return to the sport and the increased visibility she brings to marathon swimming.”
Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones