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Diana Nyad raises $105,711 in marathon New York swim

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad acknowledged the crowd in Herald Square Thursday following her effort to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad acknowledged the crowd in Herald Square Thursday following her effort to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

NEW YORK — Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad on Thursday ended her 48-hour swim in a pool set up at a busy Manhattan intersection to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy, an event that raised more than $105,000 in donations.

‘‘It honestly was tougher than I ever imagined it to be,’’ the Nyad, 64, said as she emerged from the pool at 8:48 a.m. Her words were drowned out by claps and cheers from the crowd.

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‘‘That was a long two days,’’ said Nyad, bundled up in a blanket and receiving fluids intravenously as she spoke to reporters.

Nyad, a New York City native, started the swim Tuesday morning in the 40-yard pool set up in midtown Manhattan’s Herald Square, getting out only to use the restroom. Her aim was to raise money for people still struggling a year after Sandy.

‘‘I think my real point here was, regardless of whether you’re from New York, we, the citizens of the world, can’t forget these people, because a year ago the storm ravaged their lives,’’ she said.

According to the AmeriCares Foundation, which will distribute the donations raised through crowdsourcing website CrowdRise, the swim raised $105,711 as of Thursday afternoon.

‘‘We’re pleased with the amount and all the visibility Diana brought to the continuing recovery needs of Sandy survivors,’’ AmeriCares spokeswoman Leslie Gianelli said.

Nyad last month became the first person confirmed to have swum from Havana to Key West, Fla., without a shark cage.

She said her urban swim was less lonely but grueling nonetheless. ‘‘I was constantly chilly,’’ Nyad said. ‘‘If we do it again we’ll do it earlier in the year, like Labor Day.’’

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