Distance swimmer Marcella MacDonald to swim across Tampa Bay on New Year's Eve

By Trevor Pettiford, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 29, 2017, 10:16 PM EST

One of marathon and distance swimming's longtime stars plans to add Tampa Bay to her list of large bodies of water she's conquered, and she plans to do it on New Year's Eve.

  • Marcella "Marcy" MacDonald has swum English Channel 15 times
  • Known as "American Queen of English Channel"
  • 1st solo attempt at 24-mile Tampa Bay swim for MacDonald

For most of us, the Tampa Bay is something to cross over in a car to get to either Pinellas County or Hillsborough County.

For Marcella MacDonald, however, it's something much more. It’s something to conquer.

MacDonald, known as the "American Queen of the English Channel," has successfully swum the English Channel 15 times. She's traveled the entire world, in fact, swimming across its large bodies of water.

On Sunday, she’ll add Tampa Bay to her list. She says swimming is her life.

“I was a youth competitive swimmer,” said MacDonald. “My coach saw certain swimmers for longer distance, you have your sprinters and youth middle distance and distance. I was one of those distance swimmers and I was a good practice swimmer. Everything just kind of fell into place.”

Over the last 30 years, MacDonald, who is also a physician, says, she’s worked out a lot of problems while keeping her head above water on these swims. She says the water is her 'home away from home.'

“I really don't know the answer," MacDonald said when asked what draws her to the water. “I feel good in there. I do! I pretty much grew up in the water form seven years old. Whenever I train, I like it.”

MacDonald will start her swim across the bay in the early morning, and expects the journey will take most of the day. Click HERE to keep track of her progress throughout the swim.