Sunday, August 30, 2015

CT Sun: Women of Inspiration

Last night, August 29, 2015, I was honored to join Suzie Whaley and Sarah Gallardo at the CT Sun basketball game. Thank you Connecticut Sun for the recognition and wonderful evening. The half-time presentation  was memorable.

Connecticut Sun To Recognize Inspiring Women

August 25, 2015

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (August 26, 2015) — The Connecticut Sun will honor its 2015 Women of Inspiration, during a pregame reception and halftime ceremony on Saturday, August 29th, when the Sun host the New York Liberty at Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m.
This year’s recipients are Marcy MacDonald, Sarah Gallardo and Suzy Whaley, who will receive the Margo Dydek Award.
“This event is one of the highlights of our summer,” Connecticut Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said. “We are excited to honor three truly amazing women, who engage, challenge and inspire every day. They are wonderful role models, and we feel privileged that they have agreed to be a part of this special night.”
The centerpiece of the Inspiring Women Program, the Margo Dydek Award is named in honor of the former Connecticut Sun All Star who died unexpectedly at the age of 37 on May 27, 2011. Dydek was an accomplished professional who finished her WNBA career as the career leader in blocks, but she was better known for a warm and open spirit that endeared her to so many women’s basketball fans around the world.
“To win the Margo Dydek Award is an incredible honor,” said Whaley, the Secretary of the PGA of America. “She was just a fascinating, wonderful young woman who lost her life too soon. She really gave back not only to basketball but to those she surrounded herself with, her community and her team.”
Whaley became the first woman ever elected as an Officer of the PGA of America in 2014. Under the formal progression of offices, she is expected to become PGA President in three years, overseeing the world’s largest sports organization that conducts premier spectator events such as the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup as well as significant philanthropic outreach initiatives and award-winning golf promotions. That is just the latest in a career that has been marked by breakthroughs.

In 2003, Whaley became the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event – the Greater Hartford Open at the TPC River Highlands – since Babe Zaharias in 1945. That came as a direct result of being the first woman to win a PGA of America Section Championship – the Connecticut PGA Section – in 2002. An accomplished teacher of the game and recognized as a Top 50 instructor by Golf Digest, Whaley will donate the $1,000 she receives from the Connecticut Sun Foundation as the Margo Dydek Award winner to PE2Tee. To find out more about the non-profit organization that helps bring golf to schools by growing the game with children of all backgrounds, visit

Marcy MacDonaldShe might be accustomed to imposing challenges, but even veteran open water swimmer Marcy MacDonald admitted to being a little nervous on her last swim. On August 2nd, MacDonald became the first American to swim the 23-mile length of Loch Ness in Scotland. It took her 11 hours, 59 minutes and 11 seconds, the third fastest solo swim of the Loch.
A podiatrist from Andover who has swam across the English Channel 15 times, the American record, MacDonald had some extra incentive to complete her swim across Loch Ness in 51 degree water. She was raising money for a cause. In this case, it was Homes for the Brave, a Bridgeport-based organization that provides, with emphasis on veterans, the housing and services necessary to help homeless individuals return to productive and meaningful life.
“The last few winters have been really brutal here,” MacDonald said. “I just started thinking about all of the homeless people. I just can’t imagine not having a place to go home to. Or not having a place somewhere warm. And then if you serve our country and are homeless? It just got to me.” It is to Homes for the Brave that MacDonald will donate the $500 she receives from the Connecticut Sun Foundation as a 2015 Connecticut Sun Woman of Inspiration. For more information, visit

Sarah Gallardo A single mother who survived 10 years of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband before leaving her marriage after the birth of her daughter, Sarah Gallardo has turned her experience into a safe haven for others with the founding of Sarah Speaks Up, a charitable organization that raises awareness about domestic abuse while also seeking to help educate, comfort and empower victims.
“The idea behind Sarah Speaks Up is essentially to speak up about the situation that I had been in,” she explained. “Domestic violence is typically something that people keep to themselves. It’s almost like a secret that you are carrying. For me, I felt like it was something that I had to get out. By speaking my truth, it encouraged other people to do the same thing.”
Gallardo, who is currently studying public relations at Central Connecticut State University, has become a certified domestic violence counselor and has shared her story through a variety of interviews and speaking engagements. She is a dedicated volunteer at the Prudence Crandall Center of New Britain, a full service shelter and counseling center. It was there where she received counseling when she was in the midst of her domestic violence relationship. Now she gives back as a speaker, counselor and advocate.
It is to Sarah Speaks Up (visit for more information) that Gallardo will donate the $500 she receives from the Connecticut Sun Foundation as a 2015 Connecticut Sun Woman of Inspiration.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Quick good bye to Fort Augustus/Loch Ness

Final day in Fort Augustus/Loch Ness, some quick highlights.... and not all about that swim. A beautiful place, not to sweat, relax and meet some really nice sincere people. On to the big city, Edinburgh, on the train, choo, choo....


Thursday, August 6, 2015

My sister Teresa MacDonald Holder was wondering why I was not posting, I just wanting to give you a break from after all that swimming 'stuff'.
We are enjoying the beauty and lovely culture of the Highlands in western Scotland, the quiet and serene mood is a wonderful holiday destination to re-energize.

As a MacDonald, this is a very place for me and Teresa and Margaret Peterson has heritage in the Sinclair clan, Janet is has Eastern European and is having fun watching us.
I'm focused now on the Thistles, saw some Poppies but quickly passed them by.
Tomorrow I see Loch Ness from the ferry.
Enjoy the beauty of your day,


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Loch Ness swim 8 2 15, the movie

The movie took almost as long to make and publish, as it did to swim.

12 minutes for 12 hours.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Monday, August 3, 2015

24 hour after Loch Ness

OK, after 24 hours, I have had some time to reflect on that crazy COLD swim.
The Distance: 23 miles: certainly challenging but fine
Temperature: averaging 51 degrees F: do-able
Put the length and temperature together = one really Uncomfortable Sunday swim.
Thank goodness the wind was light or non-existant: a mill-pond, a gift from Aeolus (Greek god of wind), taking pity on me.

Advise to other swimmers: Seize the day, don't wait for a "better day" : chances are you will not get it., make the Most of your opportunity.

My crew took wonderful care of me. Margaret minding the kettle (hot water is very important in warming the core), Teresa entertaining me and Janet, My inspiring feeder. Helen Beveridge from Inverness was our official BLDSA observer and Ryan Tozer and his crew, Robie, (of iPowerboat) safely escorted us north and delivered us warmed back to Fort Augustus.

I'm told I was pleasant but I don't think I smiled much yesterday, until it was over. There were times of amusement, Margaret swimming, Teresa dancing and Janet putting Gumby and Pokey out for me, but when that pink flag with a pirate came out, .... Feeding time, 45 seconds of rest and warm nourishment.

I don't know I did it, I kept reminding myself of my past swim experiences, night swimming in the channel, early season swims in Jersey, UK, my early years at Globe Hollow and playing night water tag at Columbia. All these helped adjust me for the ever dark
                                                     water of the Loch.

Thoughts of people going through worse things than me, Homeless people living in their cars, if they one, in the winter,: how do they get through the cold.

All and all, I had a peaceful sunrise, flat water and a cold long swim that I NEVER have to do again.

No injuries or hypothermia, I guess another may be in the plans, just not this cold.

Dream, Prepare, Success

Sunday, August 2, 2015

It's done, success

Loch Ness: 23 COL miles
Time: 11:59

Thank you everyone for kind comments, this will a short post, I arrived home safely, bathed in a warmer-than-normal-for -me tub, took my Ibuprofen, a couple of scrambled eggs and I'm ready to try to sleep.

Thank you my crew: janet, Teresa MacDonald Holder and Margaret Peterson for preparing my feed (photo: only time I kick breaststroke) and entertaining me. Our pilot and his crew Ryan Tozer and Robie for a safe escort, and Helen Beveridge for her BLDSA observer and informatio...n to us all about the infamous Loch Ness, oh thank you/blame Kevin Murphy planting this crazy seed in my head.

One word, Cold through out, you don't know how many times I wanted to get out.
More about this tomorrow on my cuttingwater fb page and blog with photos.
OK, zzzz time now.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Plans for Loch Ness: TOMORROW, Sunday August 2, 2015

Hi everyone,
This is my final post before the swim, if you do hear from me tomorrow, the weather has changed and we're going another day, but as I said previously, wind is favorable.

1st: Thank you for supporting Homes for the Brave, Thanks 100x over.

Track me tomorrow, Sunday August 2nd!

We meet Ryan and Robey at 5am, should be in the water at 6am.

I have a SPOT device for my Loch Ness swim.

SPOT devices use satellite technology to allow people to share communicate and share GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere in the world.

Click the link to locate my SPOT.

Just follow this link to see my location updates:

If the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it to your browser's address bar.

Here we go, I'll be thinking about you all, thanks to all my training partner from this past year, Amanda Rossolimo, Terese Karmel, John Lenard, Elizabeth Fry, James Bayles, Marty McMahon, Doug Comstock, Greg Kohut and past swimming partners, Marcia Cleveland, Scott Lautman and my young LEHY summer swimmers, you're getting faster and hopefully wiser, Trust in your Training.

Again, Thank you all for supporting Homes for the Brave, that will help me through some tough patches also,


Our final training day

We had our final training swim today in the mouth the river Oich, everyone from the party joined in, except fuzzy Peep, not his style to get his fluff wet.

Not too many nasty comments from the gals, it is a great dipping spot for acute arthritic/injury pain, one reason I like colder water, 'you don't feel the pain in the joints' .
No heart palpitations when getting in; that's a good sign and I'm not going to tell you the temperature until it is over; these are... the instructions to my crew: No mention of temperatures.
The weather as the Scots will proclaim has been 'crap', no summer to speak of.
Tomorrow, SUNDAY, August 2nd, will probably be the day, lower wind speed, but clouds and a chance of rain, what else is new.
Apparently the wind may not affect the lower end of Loch Ness but as we go north, there is a back wash affect, so we're go for light wind over sunshine and wind, it's part of the game anyway.

— with Janet Galya, Teresa MacDonald Holder and Margaret Peterson, Gumby, Pokey and Barbie

Friday, July 31, 2015

It's raining....

It's raining in Scotland, a common occurrence this summer according to the locals. They are patiently waiting in their rain and winter gear for a sunny warm (would love a hot day but really), we can't ask much from Mother Nature.

Last evening, I met and spoke with Chloe McCardel, a young strong Australia gal, training up here
for a another English Channel attempt, very interesting, I wish her the best.

I had another short swim at the 'beach' swimming up stream in the River Oich, behind our cottage. It's cold but bearable so far, we shall in a couple of days. I'd swim up the current for about 4 minutes and turn to fly back down to the mouth of the river. I can see the bottom here, and only saw one small quick fish swim beneath me, I'm preparing myself for the dark water, it's just another night swim with light upon turning my head.
Thank you Janet for watching me, safe and smart swimming.

I met our pilot, Ryan Tozer of iPowerboat, as he and Robey had to transport the boat through the locks to Loch Ness, it's a pretty cool site to watch the large boats stepping up and down the Caledonian Canal.

Very soon my friends,
I will confirm tomorrow.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We have arrived to Fort Augustus Scotland

If you look at my packing, you'd think it was December 28th, not July 28th, wool sweaters, mittens, hat and pants... where am I going, oh Scotland.

I don't think I'll ever get used to stepping off the plane and seeing everyone in winter jackets.

Our biggest adventure yesterday was traveling from Inverness Airport to Fort Augustus. I don't know how much help we were, but a friendly reminder to our driver, Margaret to stay on the left, but not too left (the roads are quite narrow)... white knuckled, especially when those lorries are passing us from the opposite direction, we arrived safe in town. What a beautiful place to lay our heads, Bon Accord in Fort Augustus, a beautiful quaint cottage on the Canal leading into and out of the famous Loch Ness.

I didn't swim yesterday, but we stopped along our journey to view the Loch, water looks beautiful, cool and I started my rock collection.

I've already had notice that my swim may be quick in timing, possibly Saturday or Sunday, all depends on the WEATHER, between periods of clouds and rain, normal weather pattern this year.

I'll be in touch as soon as we firm up plans. I have my tracker with me, hopefully it will work, we're going to try it today, walking around town.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed


 Homes for the Brave!  -Facebook pages –
-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
       Homes for the Brave
       655 Park Avenue   
       Bridgeport, CT 06604 

- Donations can be made online as well:  

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Now about the swim: My next Aqua-adventure/challenge: swim the length of Loch Ness … in the purest form, one bathing suit, cap and goggles

(No wet-suits or performance enhancements)

Swim window: August 1st-8th 2015
Start: Fort Augustus, Scotland... swim 23 miles… Finish: Loch End.
Information about Loch Ness and results about the swim can be found:
Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands extending southwest of Inverness for approximately 23 cold miles (37 km); (I’m telling myself 52 degrees, although it may be colder, hopefully warmer). Its surface is 52 ft. (15.8 m) above sea level. Loch Ness is best known for alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as "Nessie". The Loch is connected at the southern end by the River Oich and a section of the Caledonian Canal to Loch Oich. At the northern end there is the Bona Narrows which opens out into Loch Dochfour, which feeds the River Ness and a further section of canal to Inverness. It is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to high peat content in the surrounding soil.

Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface area at 56.4 km2 (21.8 sq. mi) after Loch Lomond, but due to its great depth, it is the largest by volume. Its deepest point is 755 ft. (230 m), making it the second deepest loch in Scotland after Loch Morar. It contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water on the Great Glen Fault, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south.

For updated information, come visit my blog: or Cuttingwater page on Facebook,

there will be links to Homes for the Brave.

Thank you for your time and have a FUN summer, Dream, Prepare, Succeed


 Homes for the Brave!  -Facebook pages –
-Check donations can be mailed to the following address: 
       Homes for the Brave
       655 Park Avenue    
       Bridgeport, CT 06604 

- Donations can be made online as well:  

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.


Loch Ness letter

Dear Friends,
Here is some information for my upcoming swimming adventure and my swimming background.
The Most important message I hope you will help me with is, my fundraising cause, the "Homes for the Brave", helping homeless veterans. (SPREAD THE WORD)
Here is more information about Homes for the Brave!

-Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donationscan be mailed to the following address:

Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604 -

Donations can be made online as well:

I am leaving on today, Tuesday, for Scotland, soon to attempt a solo swim of the length of Loch Ness, all in the attachment. No Americans have completed or attempted.
I will have my Tracker, all information here or on Facebook.
I do not carry a phone while away, enjoying the rare freedom, but I will try to respond to all emails.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fantastic Birthday week, Independence Day

This week was a fun birthday week, 5 birthdays ... 4 people and a pretty young country.

Monday, June 28 was my niece, Kassandra's 23rd birthday, so that was a very good workout because I didn't have any time constraints.

Happy Birthday Kassandra Holder
Thanks for the motivating numbers for today's swim.
23 =
300 warm up...
2300 swim
23 x 100 (1:40)
2300 swim
300 cool down, not that anyone needed to cool down after this morning's chilly temperatures
= 7500 Happy Birthday meters

Tuesday, June 29th was 2 of our young swimmers birthdays, Kaeley turned the important adult age of 18 and young Charlie became a teenager, good old 13. I only had a short day, so ...

1800 warm-up
13 x 100 (1:40)
300 cool down
= 3400 Happy Birthday meters

Wednesday, July 1st was Kurtis, my nephew, 23rd birthday also, but it was cut short due to an intense flash of lightning after only 100 meters,
I've never moved so fast OUT of the water.

Oh, well, it happens.

The final birthday was our country,
USA's 239th birthday, Happy Independence day.

A nice long swim at Hammonasset with friends and a beautiful picnic at the Collins home.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy 84 John

Birthdays are always a fun way to get the yardage/miles in.

A special celebration: swim buddy and Friend John Lenard turned 84 today, His enthusiasm and dedication to the water is Amazing, I hope I'm swimming at that age, 'life is short' make the most of each day and year.

A shorter practice (with drag), great company with John and Amanda Rossolimo, breakfast followed.
w/u 450 (6+1+3+2+0+1+5=18 lengths) 6/13/2015
then 8 varied 400's
Swim 400
Paddles 4 x 100 (1:40)
Swim 400
Swim 4 x 200 (that's 2 400's)
Swim 400
Paddles 4 x 100
easy 400 IM (John likes IM's)
= 3650
Then some weekend swimming at Hammonasset

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Welcomed surprise

A surprise from one our LEHY swimming, makes you smile when the 'young ones' get it.

Thank you Allison for making the morning brighter.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Birthday and Miriam

Happy Birthday to Amanda Rossilimo and Miriam Cole; 2 of the most powerful amateur Triathletes on the world circuit.
Fantastic numbers today, lots of 3's and 9's and don't forget 20 15
I hope Amanda plays the #'s tonight, 39 on 3-9-2015.

Have a SUPER day and year ladies. 

3 x 225 (9 lengths)
1 x 75 (3 = March) I did backstroke
13 x 100 **(3 on 1:40, 3 on 1:35, 1 on 1:30, 3 and 3)
1 x 225 (9 = day) (++every 3rd length, breathe every 9th stroke)
13 x 100 **
1 x 500 (20 = the 20 of 2015) ++
13 x100 **
1 x 375 (15 = the 15 of 2015) ++
= 5850 yards, but that would bother Amanda all day, so...
150 cool down (a breaststroke pull out with drill)
= 6000 FUN Birthday yards

Thanks Amanda for the company and choosing the fun, non-boring workout.

Swimming for Homes for the Brave

After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people.
Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness.
As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support.
I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.

That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well:

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.

On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.

In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.

I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.

The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at:

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.