NEWPORT — Lake Memphremagog welcomed the return of Kingdom Swim on Saturday as a few hundred open water swimmers and kayakers from around the country gathered in Newport.
“The Border Bumpers,” swimming 25 km, started at 5:30 a.m. with a full moon setting before them and the sun rising behind.
In the 10-mile race, Eric Nilsson, 33, of Boston, Massachusetts, took first place with a blistering time of 3:38:30, followed by Stephen Rouch, 40, of Indianapolis, Indiana, at 4:15:46.
Joe Infantino, 29, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, finished behind at 4:27:19.
For his win, Nilsson claimed the walking stick, hand-carved by local legend, Bill Peck, a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky, and a gallon of Couture’s Maple Syrup.
Among the 10-mile in the women’s division, Victoria Ryan, 54, of Indianapolis, Indiana, took first at 4:20:43, with 67-year-old Nancy Steadman-Martin from Oceanport, New Jersey, claiming second place, followed by Melissa Burroughs, 28, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Twenty swimmers took on the 25 km Border Bumper.
Winning it all was Craig Fredericksen, 35, from West Bend, Wisconsin, with a time of 6:40:05, almost 50 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Robert Breitel, 53, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and an hour and a half ahead of Brian Jaskot, 41, of Vienna, Virginia.
The winning female was 58-year-old Stephany Soucy from Harleysville, Pennsylvania, with a time of 7:32:22, followed by local phenom, Vera Rivard, 17, of Derby, Vermont and Springfield, New Hampshire and Charlotte Brynn, 57, of Stowe and Newport, Vermont.
The day also saw races in the 10 km, 5 km, and 1-mile distances.
On Friday afternoon, participants were welcomed by a costume parade down Main Street, hosted by Memhremagog Community Maritime (Northern Star), Memphremagog Watershed Association, and Kingdom Games.