Marcy MacDonald becomes first American to swim across Loch Ness

Mary MacDonald holds the record for the most swims across the English Channel, and now holds the title as the first American to swim across Scotland's Loch Ness. Photo: Courtesy of Cutting Water.
Marcy MacDonald (pictured here in 2013) holds the record for the most swims across the English Channel and now also has been distinguished as the first American to swim across Scotland’s Loch Ness. Photo: Courtesy of Cutting Water

Scotland's Loch Ness has always been a point of contention — is there an ancient monster in there? Is it actually a dinosaur? Should we make another movie about it? — but there's no denying this: American Marcy MacDonald has just become the first American and the fifth solo swimmer in history to swim the full 23 miles across the lake.

MacDonald, a 51-year-old swimmer from Andover, Connecticut, completed the feat in 11 hours, 59 minutes and 11 seconds, raising money for Homes for the Brave, a charity that provides housing and services to homeless veterans.

"When I was swimming, I was thinking, 'You can do this, it's only one day,'" MacDonald told the Hartford Courant. "I can't imagine being homeless, out in the cold in the winter and not having shelter."

The scariest part of the swim, according to MacDonald? No, no mythical monster sightings. It was the numbing 51-degree water temperature; over the course of 11 hours, it made for what she calls "one really uncomfortable Sunday swim."

MacDonald also holds the record for the most swims across the English Channel (15!).

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