36 Years In The Making: Marty McMahon Achieves The Triple Crown

36 Years In The Making: Marty McMahon Achieves The Triple Crown

Finally after 36 years, Marty McMahon, 58-year-old American open water swimmer and a water polo player at Villanova University, completed the third and final leg of the Catalina Channel breaking the previous record of 35 years between the first and third leg of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

You can listen to his fascinating backstory on Shannon Keegan‘s podcast Marathon Swim Story.

He completed a 33.5 km crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 1985 at the age of 22 in 11 hours 14 minutes where he raised US$1,400 for Connecticut’s Special Olympics. This was his first organized marathon swim. Then, later in 1989, he completed a 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim around Manhattan Island in New York in 8 hours 36 minutes for his second leg of the Triple Crown. He was 26 years old at the time.

Along the way, he raised his children and got about working a few decades and even did an Ice Mile in 2013. But he always had the last leg of the Triple Crown: a 32.3 km crossing of the Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 12 hours 8 minutes. Finally, 36 years after his English Channel crossing, McMahon completed the crossing at the age of 58.

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