It was a monster challenge for a Connecticut woman who spent almost 12 hours crossing Loch Ness in Scotland last month.
Dr. Marcy MacDonald, 51, survived the incredibly cold water and swam her way into the record books, one stroke at a time.
MacDonald was in 51 degree water in just a bathing suit for 11 hours, 59 minutes and 11 seconds. That's how long it took her to swim across Loch Ness on Aug. 2.
On that day, she became the first American to swim the 23 miles. MacDonald said she was encouraged to do it, by a friend and fellow swimmer.
"And he's like, you can do this! He's like, no American has done it and actually at that time only four people had done it,” MacDonald said. “After I started researching, I was like, OK. It's time to do this."
MacDonald is a podiatrist in Manchester where pictures from her high school days on the softball field are on the walls, along with proof of her accomplishments on the water.
One of her accomplishments is the record she holds for the 15 times she swam the English Channel.
Her recent accomplishment is a little different. Loch Ness in the Scottish highlands, north of England is rumored to have the infamous loch ness monster lurking underwater.
"Well, I think there's lots of monsters down there because afterwards, we took a cruise and we learned about all the fish that are down there,” MacDonald said. And I'm like, there's some big fish down there, no wonder why they think a monster is there!"
MacDonald was just honored as one of three "Women of Inspiration" by the Connecticut Sun. She received $500 and is donating the money as well as the money raised from her swim to Homes for the Brave, which is a Bridgeport-based organization focused on helping veterans.
MacDonald credits her crew that rides alongside her with helping her complete the accomplishment. The crew provides her with food and encouragement including one extra-special supporter.
"My crew has fluctuated, but my mainstay is my partner, Janet,” MacDonald said. “She certainly has. I know I'm driving her crazy with, and my family!"
Weather permitting, her next swim will be across Cape Cod Bay later this month.
To follow MacDonald's journey, click here.
For more information on Home for the Brave, click here.
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