29. PHIL WHITE: MASTER OF THE KINGDOM’S GAMES
In October 2020, The Marathon Swimmers Federation recognized Phil White for a decade of work in developing open water swims in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s not the first such honor. In 2014, White was one of 12 runners up for the World Open Water Swimming Association’s (WOWSA) Man of the Year.
Though White might be recognized for having built up distance swimming events such as the 25-mile Search for Memphre, Kingdom Swim Week (where swimmers cross many of the NEK’s larger lakes) and the icy Winter Swim, he’s also the instigator of such beloved races such as the Dandelion Run – a half marathon with fiddlers stationed along the route, Fly to Pie – a point-to-point run to Parker Pie in Glover and The Moose—a bike tour of the less-traveled roads of the NEK.
White’s Kingdom Games started creating events in 20017 and by 2014, was attracting nearly 1,400 athletes from around the country and the world, including such budding stars as 16-year-old English Channel swimmer Vera Rivard.
A lawyer with degrees from Columbia and Georgetown, White once told Vermont Sports “The trial work helped me visualize the whole and be patient in working with the individual pieces as I was building an event.”