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Swimmer fit to be tied

NEW YORK -- A pier in the East River got in the way of a world-record marathon swimmer who was trying to circle Manhattan Island twice with his legs tied to raise money for the city's hungry.

Benson Huggard, 44, of Lynbrook, N.Y., was attempting the feat Sunday to solicit food contributions and to publicize the plight of the city's hungry.

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'The trouble began when I ran into an 8-knot current and I hit my shoulder into some pilings,' he said.

'I thought I had broken my collarbone,' said Huggard. 'But I swam five or six more miles to complete the circuit.'

Huggard said he was trying to swim around the island twice -- an estimated 57 miles.

He began at 11:45 a.m. Saturday and was able to finish the first lap in about 12 hours -- a little after midnight.

He said his fastest time with his legs untied is 8 hours and 20 minutes.

Huggard said he trained two to three hours a day indoors to prepare for the effort.

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