NEW YORK – Of the 38 swimmers representing 11 countries and 14 states, recent Yale graduate Abigail Nunn was number one in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on Saturday. The 28.5-mile circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan is widely recognized as the longest annually held swimming race in the world. Nunn now joins the ranks of some 600 swimmers to have completed the distance and becomes the 30th person to win the race.
Nunn completed the 28.5-mile course in a time of 7:30:26 for a pace of 15:48 per mile. Her time puts her close on the heels of last year's winner, Erica Rose, who finished in a time of 7 hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds. In second place this year was Javier Gutierrez of Marina del Rey, Calif., with a time of 7:47:44. Full results can be found here.
The race started and finished at South Cove in Battery Park City on the Hudson River. Competitors proceeded counterclockwise around the island, up the East River and through the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. From there the race passed through Hell's Gate, where the East River meets the Harlem River, and past Spuyten Duyvil, where the Harlem River joins the Hudson River.
Coming in to the Hudson River Nunn led the field by about 1200 meters. She reached that final stretch coming down the Hudson in a little more than four and a half hours, and would go on to grow her lead to more than a mile as she approached Midtown and on back down to South Cove for the finish.
The Manhattan Island Marathon goes on Nunn's already impressive list of open water swimming victories. At just 22 years of age Nunn has won the Madison Mile in Madison, Conn., and the Greenwich Island Beach 2-Mile Swim in Greenwich, Conn. She also owns the fastest 1-mile and 2-mile times for any female competitor at the Chris Greene Lake Swim in Charlottesville, Va., and won her first marathon swim, the 2010 Swim Around Key West in Florida.
At Commencement last month Nunn won the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award, given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards. The award is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47, who served as Yale's athletic director from 1954 to 1976. Nunn was in Calhoun College and majored in history of science and medicine.
Nunn will be attending the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in the fall.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity