Swimming

Simsbury's Marty McMahon Completes Record-Breaking Triple Crown Swim

NBC Universal, Inc.

Marty McMahon has spent a lot of time in the water over the years.

"Really when you're out there for hours, that's a lot of time to think," said McMahon, who became the first Connecticut native to successful swim the English Channel in 1985. He was just 22 years old, and it was the first open water swim he had ever attempted.

"I showed up to England and they were like what?" he said.

McMahon returned to Connecticut a hero, even receiving a special helicopter escort from Logan Airport back to his hometown of Windsor.

"It was Martin McMahon Day in Windsor," said McMahon. "It was pretty heady stuff for a 22-year old.

Four years later, McMahon swam around Manhattan, leaving just one swim left to complete the open water swimming triple crown.

"I started looking at Catalina but I got married and started having kids and put it aside," said McMahon.

NBC Connecticut

In 2012, Marty went for the swim around Catalina Island off the coast of California, but he couldn't complete it. This summer, he tried again and succeeded.

"There's elation and I think I got pretty choked up on this swim, especially with the failed attempt," said McMahon. "It becomes so important to you."

Thirty six years after his first swim, Marty set a record for most time in between first and last swims of a triple crown.

"[It's] a weird record to have but it's a fun one because it means I've been at this sport for a really long time," he said.

McMahon also raised $6,000 for AANE (Asperger/Autism Network) during the Catalina swim. His son Denis has Asperger's Syndrome. Marty hopes his latest accomplishment inspires others to go after their dreams, no matter what it takes.

"This is a great day to be doing this interview because this is what you have to put in to train for these things," said McMahon. "It's being out here in the rain and the cold so when you climb out, it's a great sense of accomplishment."

Contact Us