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Katie Pumphrey's 24-mile Bay to Baltimore Swim

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Hi! My name is Katie Pumphrey- I am an ultra marathon open water swimmer and visual artist from the great city of Baltimore, Maryland.

This coming June, I will attempt a 24-mile open water swim from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the now swimmable Inner Harbor of Baltimore! This history making swim, the Bay to Baltimore Swim, will serve as a celebration for the decades-long clean up efforts to make the Baltimore Harbor a swimmable and safe recreational resource for the city.

In collaboration with the non-profit organization Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, which has served as our city’s advocate, promoter, and steward for the waterfront since 2005, this swim will be a first for Baltimore and the sport of marathon open water swimming. As a proud Baltimorean, and accomplished marathon open water swimmer, I am beyond excited to celebrate this milestone for my city, and to be the first person on record to complete a swim of this scale in these waters.

I am seeking donations for this Bay to Baltimore Swim and my 2024 swim season. Funds contribute towards the costs of the Bay to Baltimore swim, including, but not limited to, boat support, equipment, logistical support, media and film coverage, digital assets, supplies, travel and lodging expenses, as well as costs associated with training and swims in 2024.
Any organizations, businesses, or individuals interested in being an official sponsor, please reach out to me directly via [email redacted].

Originally my Bay to Baltimore Swim was planned for mid-May, but in response to the tragedy of the Key Bridge collapse, and in communication with US Coast Guard Sector Maryland, we have pushed the swim back to late June to give more time for the clean up efforts and to be able to swim through safely.
This GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help fund and support this swim, and 10% of these proceeds will be donated to the Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong Key Bridge Fund, which was established by the Baltimore Community Foundation.
It is my hope that this swim can honor the strength of this community and the resilient spirit of Baltimore.

This sport is one that requires a lot of support, time in training, and a team to make it a success. Funding support makes this Bay to Baltimore swim and its message possible. Funding also offers support to share my journey, and the necessary tools of this sport, with others. One of my biggest motivators for swimming is “the love of the game.” I truly love this sport, and I am beyond excited for an open water swim of this scale right here at home.

While marathon swimming is an individual sport, it truly takes a team to make these swim a success. To help ensure a safe and successful swim, two support boats provided by Freedom Boat Club, with alternating captains piloting 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 icon and celebrity Mr Trash Wheel will join the fleet! Waterfront Partnership and I invite the public to follow the swim'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!

Based on optimal tides and water temperatures, and in communication with US Coast Guard Sector Maryland, the swim window is June 24th - 27th, 2024. The official swim date will be chosen with ideal weather and swim conditions as the determining factor.
Weather and rainfall play a big role in determining the swim day. Like in any body of water, we should not swim in the 48 hours after a heavy rainfall, as runoff and overflow from heavy rains impact water quality. Baltimore’s harbor is safe to swim on “dry days,” meaning outside of the 48 hours following heavy rainfall. This data has been studied closely by Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative , including regularly scheduled collections water samples from five sites in the Harbor. Samples are taken to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to be analyzed according to the EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Conditions and weather will impact the start/finish time, however it is likely that the swim will start at 3:00 AM. (I will wear a light on the back of her goggles and glow sticks will be attached to my suit to remain visible to her crew during the night portion of the swim.) It is estimated the swim will take 12-13 hours, finishing in the mid-late afternoon, although the wind, tides, and conditions will impact the timeline. This will definitely be a tough swim, and I can’t wait.

Bay to Baltimore Swim details and all updates will be posted to swimkatie.com and a tracker link will be shared to follow along. Also follow along on social media: @katiepumphreyart .

Waterfront Partnership and I invite everyone to follow this swim and join at the finish line, at the Harborplace Pavilion in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor pavilion, to support and celebrate this history making swim and milestone for Baltimore!

Thank you so much for your support! The journey of this swim, and all of the training and steps it takes to get there, wouldn’t be possible without the generous support and encouragement from so many!

As a proud Baltimorean, I am beyond excited to celebrate this milestone for my city, and to be the first person on record to complete a swim of this scale in these waters. This Bay to Baltimore Swim, in many ways, is my love letter to Baltimore City. I can’t wait.

Thank you again!

love,
Katie Pumphrey


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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $75 
    • 18 d
  • Dave and Pat Vorel
    • $60 
    • 26 d
  • Ilene Asner
    • $60 
    • 26 d
  • Edward Gross
    • $60 
    • 26 d
  • EBrady Robinson
    • $100 
    • 26 d
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Organizer

Katie Pumphrey
Organizer
Baltimore, MD

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