Photo of Julie Ridge, an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, by Ron Modra for Sports Illustrated Magazine, Manhattan Island, New York.

Julie Ridge currently served as a clinician, researcher and educator in New York City, but she was once one of the most famous marathon swimmers during the 1980’s when she completed the first Manhattan Island Double, a 91.8 km two-time circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in July 1983 in 21 hours 2 minutes.

She later completed a multi-day swim in 1985 when she swam a circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island each day for five consecutive days.

The plan was for six days, but the first day was cancelled due to weather conditions. Her time on Day Two was 8 hours 50 minutes; Day Three was 9 hours; Day Four was 9 hours; Day Five was about 9 hours; and Day Six was 8 hours 35 minutes.

Throughout the time, Ridge was doing Hawaiian Ironman Triathlons, a bicycle ride across continental America, an English Channel crossing, and additional Manhattan Island Marathon Swims, she was also volunteering with Manhattan Island Swimming Association, helping to organize the 28.5-mile swim between 1982 and 1991.

I want to pay tribute to the real legends of our day and the people without whom no one would ever had made successful swims around Manhattan Island. They include of course Drury Gallagher, Tommy Hetzel, Joe Coplan, Jane Katz, Al Wallander, Ann Wallander, Sue Peterson and the Coast Guard cadets, Tim Johnson and the great swimmers of the day including Paul Asmuth, Shelley Taylor Smith, Kris Rutford, Jim Barber, and so many more.

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