Marathon Swimming for a Cause
In August, 2011, Doug McConnell, with the help of his A Long Swim Team, became only the 48th person over age 50 to swim the English Channel, in 14 hours that were divided between heavy waves and pitch black darkness.
The success of the English Channel swim has inspired the A Long Swim Team to continue with marathon swims, including the 24-mile length of Tampa Bay and the 21-mile distance of the San Pedro Channel, which is between Santa Catalina Island and Long Beach, California.
A Long Swim has raised more than $200,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation, which funds groundbreaking research at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, one of the top ALS research laboratories in the world. On the day that Doug finished his English Channel crossing, Northwestern made a breakthrough announcement of the discovery of the common cause of all forms of ALS, and has accelerated its pace of discoveries since then.
The success of the English Channel swim has inspired the A Long Swim Team to take on the challenge of other marathon swims and to continue to bring awareness and funding to ALS research. After another long year of training, the A Long Swim Team is planning for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5-mile circumnavigation of the most prominent island that makes up New York City, in June 2014. In the unique world of marathon swimming, successfully completing swims across the English Channel, The Catalina Channel and around Manhattan Island is considered the “Triple Crown.” If he completes the third leg of that challenge, Doug will be in a select club of fewer than 100 swimmers with that honor.
On this website, you will find Doug’s blog of the story of the preparation, the setbacks, the swims and the exhilaration of accomplishing such an audacious goal. In addition, you will find photos and Videos of the A Long Swim Team’s experiences, a link to donate to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, and examples of Doug’s inspirational presentations to corporate and civic organizations.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” Nelson Mandela