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Diana Nyad Completes 48-Hour Sandy Charity Swim In Herald Square

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad ended her 48-hour swim benefiting Superstorm Sandy victims.

"It honestly was tougher than I ever imagined it to be,'' the 64-year-old Nyad said as she emerged from the pool at 8:48 a.m. Thursday. "I thought compared to these long, ultra-swims in the ocean this would be somewhat easy and it was a bear."

PHOTOS: Diana Nyad's 48-Hour Swim

Her words were drowned out by whooping, claps and cheers from spectators who gathered at the 40-yard pool set up in Herald Square.

Diana Nyad Completes 48-Hour Swim In Herald Square For Sandy Victims

Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old widow who challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act after she was forced to pay $363,000 on the estate of her late wife, was among the spectators. She called the event "thrilling, just thrilling.'

Nyad started the marathon swim Tuesday morning. Her effort raised $103,001 for people still struggling a year after Sandy.

The funds will be given to AmeriCares, a non-profit global health and disaster relief organization.

PHOTOS: Diana Nyad's Historic Swim

Last month, the New York native became the first person confirmed to have swum from Havana to Key West, Fla., without a shark cage.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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