Last April, I profiled Doug McConnell, a 53-year-old Chicago-area investment banker, who was training to swim the English Channel. A lifelong swimmer, Doug had undergone back surgery a few years back that involved an artificial disc made by Fridley-based Medtronic.

I'm delighted to report that Doug successfully completed his Channel swim this weekend -- 30 miles in 14 hours, 18 minutes. He raised $130,000, $50,000 of which came from Medtronic, to support ALS research. (That red speck above is Doug's swimming cap, and the rather large white boat is a Dover-Calais ferry.)

"I feel a little beaten down, but pretty good overall," Doug said this morning from Dover, England. He's the 48th person over the age of 50 to successfully swim the Channel. His family, including wife, Susan, and kids Mack, 24, Billy, 19, Gordy, 17 and Ashley, 13, cheered him on the entire way in a nearby a companion boat.

Doug told me earlier this year that he counts his strokes to pass the time while swimming long distances. This time, he counted 40,538 from Dover to just south of Calais, on the coast of France.

Congratulations, Doug! (Here's his blog link.)

Janet Moore covers medical technology for the Star Tribune.