Nilsson Defends Boston Light Swim Title – Complete Race Results

A strong headwind and lots of recreational boat traffic on the course made for an unusually challenging running of the Boston Light Swim on Saturday, August 10. The annual 8-mile Boston Light Swim is a perennial favorite among marathon swimmers around the world.

Twenty-three solo endurance swimmers and six relay teams started the race under sunny skies and a light breeze at 9 am just off of Little Brewster Island in the shadow of America’s first lighthouse, the Boston Light. The field soon stretched out along the 8-mile course that winds amid the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, with Eric Nilsson, the 2012 winner of the event, breaking out to an early lead.

Nilsson, a Boston-area native currently residing in Honolulu, HI, never let the lead slip, and finished in a stellar 2 hours 45 minutes and 51 seconds. He was followed by Rob Jones of Charlottesville, VA, who ran up on shore some 17 minutes later. The third place male finisher was Richard McKern of Summit, NJ, finishing in 3:09:35.

On the women’s side, Allyson Parent of Tewksbury, MA, arrived at the historic L-Street Bathhouse first in a time of 3:18:31. Devon Dear of Somerville, MA, was second in 4:20:09.

Because of strong tidal flows, the Boston Light Swim has an unforgiving 5-hour course limit; any swimmers who haven’t finished the course within that time frame are automatically listed as not finishing. This is an unfortunate fact of life with this swim, and as the wind speed continued to rise throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, 50% of the field found themselves running much closer to that time limit than they would have under more favorable weather conditions.

“The morning started out beautifully—a little breezy, but very swimmable,” says Race Director Greg O’Connor, “but as sometimes happens in the harbor, the wind kicked up, and that made for an exceedingly difficult slog for many of the swimmers. The fastest swimmers were able to beat the conditions in, but for some of the slower competitors, these factors conspired to end their races sooner than they or the staff of the Boston Light Swim would like to have seen happen.”

When time expired, 10 solo swimmers and one relay team were still on the course and had to be removed from the unusually warm-for-Boston water, which ranged from 62 to 66 degrees F.

“It’s a heartbreak for all of us,” O’Connor says. “But that’s the nature of open water swimming. Some days are perfect and others are much more challenging. This was a very challenging year in the Boston Light Swim.”

The historic race, dubbed the “Granddaddy of Open Water Swims,” began in 1907 and is the oldest continually contested open water swim in the country today.
The staff of the Boston Light Swim would like to thank our sponsors: the Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association (MOWSA), Hammer Nutrition, Finis, and Harpoon Brewery.

For more information, visit us online at For media inquiries, please contact: Race Director, Greg O’Connor, at[email protected] or 508-728-0635.

Solo Results

First Name      Last Name       Gender  Place   Time (H:MM.SS)
Eric    Nilsson M       1       2:45:51
Rob     Jones   M       2       3:02:08
Richard McKern  M       3       3:09:35
Allyson Parent  F       4       3:18:31
Andrew  Jones   M       5       3:18:56
Zachary Cordero M       6       3:21:42
Bob     Burrow  M       7       3:49:27
Elias   Falcon  M       8       3:59:35
Kim     Garbarino       M       9       4:08:51
Jonathan        Gladstone       M       10      4:15:37
Devon   Dear    F       11      4:20:09
James   Haynes  M       12      4:50:54
Courtney        Paulk   F       DNF
Richard Sweeney M       DNF
Sylvia  Marino  F       DNF
Tom     Currier M       DNF
David   Kilroy  M       DNF
Francis O’loughlin      M       DNF
Don     Debaker M       DNF
Lynne   Mulkerrin       F       DNF
Maura   Twomey  F       DNF
Jia     Jung    F       DNF

Relay Results

Team Name/ Bib  First Name      Last Name       Place   Time (H:MM:SS)
Team Trident                    1       3:32:24
31      Bill    Geary
31      Katie   O’Dair
Tuff Competitor                 2       4:01:37
26      Kari    Kastango
26      Stephen Gillis
26      Peter   Gillis
Sibling Rivalry                 3       4:02:01
27      Nicole  Glazer
27      Benjamin        Glazer
Coney Island Stowaways                  4       4:24:19
30      David   Cook
30      Silverio        Bracaglia
30      John    Daprato
SOS                     5       4:39:42
28      Michael Garr
28      Brian   Gardner
28      Donald  Sorterup
28      Jon     Cooper
Boston Cods                     DNF
29      Anita   Loughlin
29      Giulia  Norton
29      Wendy   McDanolds
29      Margie  Shaughnessy

This unedited release was provided to swimswam.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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