Marathon Swimming for a Cause

After another long year of training, the A Long Swim Team has traveled to New York to participate in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5-mile circumnavigation of the most prominent island that makes up New York City.

After swimming 9 hours and 39 minutes, and after 29,6ll strokes, we completed the swim.  Our team, after successfully completing swims across the English Channel, The Catalina Channel and, now, around Manhattan Island has been awarded the coveted “Triple Crown” of open water swimming.  This completes the third leg of the challenge.  Doug is now in a select club of fewer than 100 swimmers with this honor.

The 28.5 swim around the Island of Manhattan was both scenic and grueling.  Doug was accompanied by an escort boat with two crew members as well as the support of a kayak manned by his long-time training partner, Don Macdonald.

The swim was covered live with photographs and videos on Facebook and Twitter.  You can see all of this on Doug’s Facebook page as well as the Facebook page for A Long Swim.   

Donations are being accepted now and have climbed past $50,000 for this swim.  In all, Doug’s swims have raised more than $300,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.  We believe this may be the most successful open water swimming campaign for a nonprofit.

You can read more about the English Channel swim on this page as well as other pages on this website.  You can also read some behind-the-scenes stories that are accompanied by great photographs on the blog My Bionic Boyfriend.

Thanks for your support during this last leg of the Triple Crown.  This award goes to all of those involved, because open water swimming is a team sport.  Remember, talent wins races.  But teamwork and intelligence win Triple Crowns.”

Doug McConnell


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.

A Long Swim Team

A Long Swim Team Celebrating On The Beach At Wissant Bay

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.

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