Julie Ridge is an American marathon swimmer who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1985 as an Honour Swimmer. She is the president and founder of the Frank Ridge Memorial Foundation that she established in 2013 in her father’s honor.
Ridge performed on Broadway, is a published author and motivational speaker. Now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience, she serves children, adolescents, and families.
Open Water Swimming Career
- On 10 September 1982, she completed a crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 17 hours 55 minutes.
- On 10-11 July 1983, she became the first person to complete a double 91.8 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York City, USA. in 21 hours 2 minutes 41 seconds in 1983, earning her a guest appearance on the David Letterman Show (first loop was 8 hours 46 minutes; second loop was 12 hours 16 minutes 41 seconds).
- On 26 August 1984, she completed a 45.9 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York City in 8 hours 39 minutes in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.
- In 1984, she completed the Hawaii Ironman triathlon.
- Between 16 - 20 August 1985, she set a Guinness World Record by swimming a 28.5 mile circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island each day for 5 consecutive days. The plan was for 6 days, but the first day was cancelled due to weather conditions.
- Day Two on 16 August 1985 was 8 hours 50 minutes.
- Day Three on 17 August 1985 was 9 hours 3 minutes.
- Day Four on 18 August 1985 was about 8 hours 43 minutes.
- Day Five on 19 August 1985 was about 8 hours 46 minutes.
- Day Six on 20 August 1985 was 8 hours 35 minutes.
- Between 1983 and 1991, she helped organize the Manhattan Island Swimming Association and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.
- In 1990, she bicycled across America with her father, Frank Ridge.
- In 1992, she attempted a circumnavigation swim around Barbados for 8 hours before she was pulled out after suffering food poison and getting stung by jellyfish.
- On 9 August 1986, she completed a 45.9 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York City in 9 hours 11 minutes during the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim at the age of 29.
- On 9 September 1991, she completed a 45.9 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York City in 9 hours 35 minutes.
- On 9 September 2002, she completed her 11th 45.9 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her English Channel crossing with observer Tim Johnson in 9 hours 37 minutes for a total of 11 swims around Manhattan Island.
- Articles about her swims appeared in numerous magazines from Cosmopolitan to Life Magazine.
- She has completed a total of 11 circumnavigation swims around Manhattan Island during her career with the last one was in 2002 to show her 4-year-old son the particular kind of mother he had.
- On 16-18 December 2018, she performed a one-woman show called Bipolar & The Channel on Broadway in New York City. The show was revised on 16 November 2021.
- She stars in a one-woman off-Broadway show, BIPOLAR & THE ENGLISH CHANNEL originally performed in December 2018 and again in October and November 2022.
Ridge authored Take It to the Limit: Endurance: How to Build It into Everything You Do. The hard cover book was published in January, 1985.
1979 double attempt - George Kauffmann (USA)
1980 double attempt - Tom Hetzel (USA)
1983 double success - Julie Ridge (USA) 21 hours 2 seconds
1984 double attempt - Ben Huggard (USA) [with his feet tied in a charity swim
1984 double/triple success - Stacy Chanin (USA) in 33 hours 30 minutes
2007 double success - Marcos Diaz (Dominican Republic) (wetsuit + dryland break) in 22 hours 14 minutes
2007 double/triple success - Skip Storch of the USA in 20 hours 56 minutes (double) and 32 hours 52 minutes (triple)
2016 double success - Pieter Christian Jongeneel Anderica (Spain) in 20 hours 15 minutes
2017 double success - Jaimie Monahan (USA) in 20 hours 12 minutes 6 seconds
2017 double success - Courtney Moates Paulk (USA) 20 hours 15 minutes 55 seconds
2017 double success - Michele Walters (USA) 20 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds
2017 double success - Gilles Chalandon (USA) 20 hours 37 minutes 3 seconds
2017 double attempt - Steve Gruenwald (USA) first loop
2017 double attempt - Mo Siegel (USA)
- Julie Ridge Stars In Breathe
- Julie Ridge Stars In BIPOLAR & THE ENGLISH CHANNEL
- Julie Ridge Stars On Off-Broadway
- Diane Struble in 1959. How Times Have Changed In The Open Water
- Bipolar & The Channel Show Is Nearly Sold Out
- Jaimie Monahan Channeling Julie Ridge, Around And Around Manhattan Island
- Julie Ridge Talks About Swimming Around Manhattan On WOWSA Live
- History Of Swimming Around Manhattan Island
- Frank Ridge Memorial Foundation
- Canadian Heroine Leaves Her Mark On Land, In The Water
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website
- The Courage And Grit Of Christian Jongeneel
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- The Transition From NYC Swim To New York Open Water
- NYC Swim official website
- Open Water Swimming Books And Movies
- Curriculum Offerings Of The Open Water
- How Do You Define Open Water Swimming?
- Christian Jongeneel Double Manhattan Circumnavigation
- Julie Ridge Marathon Swimmers Federation
- Déjà Vu With Julie Ridge Taking It To The Limit
- Swimming Closely Together Over Long, Long Distances
- Julie Ridge Taking It To The Limit