Open Water & Triple Crown Swimmer, Marcy MacDonald, to be Inducted Into International Swimming Hall of Fame
08 March 2019, 04:05pm
‘s motto is “Dream, Prepare, Succeed.” It is this
Meet Marcy in person and hear her incredible life story at the ISHOF Induction dinner. Become an ISHOF Legacy Member and attend the ISHOF Induction Dinner for FREE. Can’t attend the event? Please consider making a donation to ISHOF to support Marcy and our other inspirational honorees.
Marcy MacDonald is a purist. She believes in swimming in the purist form: a bathing suit, a cap and googles, no wetsuit or any performance enhancers. When Marcy MacDonald was 12 years old, she told her younger sister that she would swim the English Channel one day, and she lived up to that promise many times over. The English Channel is her one great love.
MacDonald completed her first Channel crossing in 1994. Since then she has made 16 crossings, three of which were double crossings. She was the
At 18.2 nautical miles, the English Channel is considered by many as the Mount Everest of Open Water Swims. It is a stretch of water that connects the shores of England to the Shores of France. Most swimmers leave from the famed Whited Cliffs of Dover at Shakespeare Beach and hopefully end up on the shore of Cap Gris Nez. MacDonald says, “This is where I feel at
MacDonald was also the first American and the fifth solo swimmer in history to swim the full 23 miles across the famed Loch Ness, in Scotland. While completing the swim, MacDonald was also raising money for Homes for the Brave, a charity that provides housing and services to homeless veterans.
MacDonald will attest that she and most other marathon swimmers crave a challenge; it’s what keeps them going. Just like climbers who search for mountains to conquer, marathon swimmers need to swim open waters, channels, or bays. Large bodies of water seem to always call out to them.
The most-famous swims on the open water circuit make up what is known as the Triple Crown. The English Channel, The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, and the Catalina Channel Swim. MacDonald completed the Triple Crown in 2013 and became a member of an exclusive club that had under 100 members at the time.
MacDonald has completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5-mile circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan, five times in her career. Water temps are much warmer than the Channel crossing, as they tend to range from 64-67 degrees in June to the mid-70’s in July. Her best time swimming around the island was on June 12, 1999, with a time of 7 hours and 13.04 minutes.
As for the Catalina Channel Crossing, MacDonald swam the 20.1 miles from Catalina Island to the shores of San Pedro, California on June 25, 2013, in 12 hours, 09 minutes with partner,, in a tandem swim.
Other notable swims that MacDonald has completed include: the 24-mile Tampa Bay, Florida, Marathon Swim; a solo swim around Mercer Island, Washington; and a Swim Across the Sound, a 17-mile swim across Long Island Sound, NY. Marcy completed the Swim Across the Sound swim three times which is a major fundraiser for the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation of CT.
MacDonald has successfully crossed the Ka’iwi Channel and the Maui Channel, both in Hawaii. She completed the 41-mile Round Jersey solo swim in the United Kingdom, the Kingdom Swim between Vermont and Quebec, and the Ederle Swim from The Battery in New York to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. MacDonald even attempted a 52-mile swim from England to Belgium, that had never been attempted before, but after 15 hours, an injury to her left shoulder forced her to stop at a beach north of Calais.
MacDonald has been inducted into three Halls of Fame: The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, the American International College Hall of Fame, and the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame. In 2004, she was given The Allison Streeter MBE award, and in 2011 she was named the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
Dr. Marcy MacDonald is a Podiatrist and operates her own practice in Manchester, CT. In her spare time, she enjoys coaching at the Laurel East Hartford YMCA and gives talks about her exciting adventures and open water swims. MacDonald does find time to fit in her training, so she is always ready for that next big swim. “It’s just right stroke, left stroke, right stroke, left stroke — for hours on end, the Life of an Open Water Swimmer!”
Swimmers have been crossing the English Channel since 1875 and doing so on a regular basis since the early 1920’s. The English Channel is the best-known bucket list item for marathon and open water swimmers. Over 1,500 men and women have swum the English Channel and we could not even guess the number that have tried it.
By nearly all accounts, it is the most difficult. It’s more than 20 miles, it’s cold, the ship traffic is intense, the water is saltier, and the tides can bring swimmers to a halt. As swimmers from England approach the French shore, the changing tides and currents can force them to basically swim in place for up to four hours.
The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, with approximately 600 vessels moving up and down them every day, plus ferries, sea cats, and jetfoils crossing between England and France on very regular intervals. Channel swims differ from other swims of this distance by their complexity and the local environment. The Channel has quite a lot of hazards such as seaweed and flotsam and jetsam (rubbish and timbers, etc.). It usually has a swell and when the wind is in the opposite direction to the tide it can turn quite choppy.
The swim is every bit a mental swim, especially while swimming in the darkness of night or fog. There is an element of luck involved in getting everything to fall right on the day. The swimmer can only wear a swim suit, swim cap and googles, NO wetsuits are permitted. A solo crossing starts the moment the swimmer enters the water off the English shores. During the swim, nourishment must be taken in without touching or holding onto the boat. The crossing is complete and successful when the swimmer walks or climbs onto the French land without assistance. Therefore, it is one of the ultimate challenges.
About The International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with multiple events spread out over three days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Make your plans now to attend the weekend of May 17-19, 2019! ISHOF Members can purchase the Weekend Package and Save! Can’t attend the event? Make a donation to ISHOF to support our honorees.
2019 Paragon Award and ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients
The Weekend Schedule
Friday, May 17th — Paragon & ISHOF Specialty Awards Night
Saturday, May 18th — Honoree Induction Day Luncheon
Official 55th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Sunday, May 19th — Swim Across America
For more hotel or ticket Information contact Meg Keller-Marvin email@example.com / 570-594-4367