John came from a competitive swimming and running background. He was a Pennsylvania state champion in high school swimming and all-district in cross country. John went on to run for one year in college, but continued to swim for all 4 years at Cornell University. At Cornell, John was a 4-time hardest worker and a 1-time MVP of the swim team.
During his college days and beyond, John found his niche in the sport of open water swimming. Aside from working for 10 years on the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, making numerous rescues, and winning numerous lifeguard races, he also had amazing success at the National and International levels. John was a 5-time US National champion in distances ranging from 10K up to 25K. He was a 7-time National team member and has competed at a wide variety of races including Nationals, Olympic trials, Pan Ams, Pan Pacs, World Cups, and World Championships. He has been competing at local open water races since 1990, attended his first Open Water Nationals in 1997, and most recently represented the USA in the 25K at World Championships in 2008. There were many swimmers out there with more raw speed in the pool, but very few could match his experience, endurance, tactics, and innate sense of finding the fastest, most efficient way to finish an open water race. From short races to marathons, flat lake swims to rough ocean or turbulent river swims, John Kenny is the most experienced open water swimmer in the United States, if not the world. Other coaches in the triathlon realm claiming to be “open water experts” do not come close.
Beginning in 2005, John began to race professionally as a triathlete. Although it took him a while to develop his cycling skills, he has recently begun to experience more success in multisport. Aside from winning many swim primes at major races such as 70.3 races and Lifetime Fitness races, John is almost always the first out of the water, even at the highest level of the sport.