NEWPORT — Craig Lenning, 36, from Denver, Colorado and his wife, May Spengler, came to town to quietly take care of some unfinished business. A 25 mile international swim between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec.
Twice denied in September of 2014, first by a thunderstorm and then by a sudden illness, Lenning was able to pass in his third attempt at this 25 mile international swim.
Leaning battled 10 to 15 mile headwinds during miles 4 through 8 and again at 10 through 12. Once he passed Georgeville they turned to crosswinds. The skies were sunny and fair most of the way, with water temperatures ranging from 62 to 66 degrees.
Things were looking good until mile 19, when nausea began to take over. Boat fumes from a shifting wind were a contributing factor.
Lenning faced off a difficult final 6 miles, but was not to be denied, finishing in a time of 15 hours and 5 minutes. A light shower and a brilliant double rainbow greeted him as he passed by the Three Sister Islands, two miles out.
Lenning showed serious determination to finish just as the sun was setting.
Don Houghton, Jr. of Craftsbury, kayaked for him the entire swim, with Phil White and May Spengler providing support from a pontoon boat generously provided by Fran Azur and Melanie Gefert.