Ultra Marathon Swimmer Katie Pumphrey to Swim from Bay Bridge to Harborplace in June

| May 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore press release: 

Artist and Ultra Marathon Open Water Swimmer Katie Pumphrey announced today plans to attempt a history-making 24-mile “Bay to Baltimore” swim from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Harborplace in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in late June to celebrate the recently announced milestone of a swimmable Baltimore.

“The Bay to Baltimore swim, in many ways, is my love letter to Baltimore City,” said Pumphrey. “I can’t wait to swim towards Baltimore, towards home, and truly celebrate this major milestone for our city. To be the first person on record to complete a swim of this scale in these waters is something I’ve dreamt about for years.”

The swim will start at Sandy Point State Park next to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and finish at the Harborplace Amphitheater in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Based on optimal tides and water temperatures, and in communication with United States Coast Guard Sector Maryland, the swim window is June 24-27, 2024, with the official swim date to be chosen based on ideal weather and swim conditions. Rainfall will also play a big role in determining the swim date as with any body of water, people should not swim in the 48 hours after heavy rainfall due to polluted runoff impacting water quality.

“Katie’s enthusiasm for Baltimore is contagious and her desire to keep pursuing her dreams, one open swim after another, is inspiring. Waterfront Partnership is proud to support her as she brings attention to swimming and recreation in Baltimore’s Harbor,” said Adam Lindquist, vice president of the Waterfront Partnership, a “Bay to Baltimore” swim sponsor.

To help ensure a safe and successful swim, two support boats provided by Freedom Boat Club, with alternating captains, including Captain Todd Nicusanti and Captain Allen Rex, both from Freedom Boat Club, as well as Captain Bobby LaPin from Boat Baltimore Sail Local, who will pilot the swim. Katie will also have a support crew of six to eight people. Several members of her crew will rotate kayaking for the swim, and two support swimmers will alternate occasionally swimming alongside Pumphrey. Also, among the crew, two observers will document and verify the swim’s adherence to the Marathon Swimmers Federation’s (MSF) rules and regulations. Pending MSF ratification, this will officially record the swim and guide future marathon swimmers wishing to try the 24-mile swim. Rounding out the final mile of the swim, Baltimore’s Mr. Trash Wheel will join the fleet and support Pumphrey. Waterfront Partnership and Pumphrey invite the public to follow Pumphrey’s progress via the live tracker on the swim’s website and show support at a finish line celebration at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater between the Harborplace pavilions.

Born and raised in Maryland, Pumphrey started swimming competitively at five years old and since her first official open water swim, the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Swim in 2010, she has completed several other major open water swims including two English Channel swims in 2015 and 2022, around the island of Manhattan in 2017 and the Catalina Channel in 2018. Those three swims make up the triple crown of open water swimming, making Pumphrey the 194th person and 73rd woman in the world to achieve that honor.

Open water swimming relies on a team and has several logistical requirements to be successful. A fundraising page has been set up to support costs for Pumphrey’s “Bay to Baltimore” swim of which 10 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong Key Bridge Fund, established by the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Looking ahead, Pumphrey plans to partner with other Baltimore organizations to launch a swim event series in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring swims of varying distances from 1-mile to marathon-distance swims, including the 24-mile Bay to Baltimore Swim for experienced open water swimmers.

To support and learn more about the Bay to Baltimore Swim, visit swimkatie.com.

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.