A Long Swim Hosts its Most Successful Open Water Swim in Lake Michigan

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A Long Swim hosted its annual A Long Swim – Tower Road Beach in Winnetka, Illinois on Sunday, August 5th. The event featured events for open water swimmers and triathletes in Lake Michigan. A Long Swim is a 501(c)3 that creatively uses open water swimming events to raise funds for collaborative ALS research.

More than 200 swimmers participated in the elite event by competing in swims of 1,500 meters, 1.2 miles, 2.4 miles and 5K distances.

Photo Courtesy of Raymond Britt Photography

“The weather and water conditions were as perfect as I’ve ever seen,” said Douglas McConnell, Co-Founder of A Long Swim and Race Director. “The air temperature was in the 80’s, and the water temperature was right at 70 degrees. The wind was very light, and the water was flat. This was Lake Michigan at her finest.”

David Bishop, an Investment Manager and lifelong swimmer who has participated in every A Long Swim – Tower Road Beach event, was exuberant, “I’ve been training for this event and all the stars lined up today. There wasn’t a swimmer near me for what seemed like miles. I told myself to put my head down and work hard, and it paid off.” Bishop won the event’s 5K swim, or 3.1 miles, in one hour and thirteen minutes.

David Bishop, 1st Place Men’s 5K

Bishop’s counterpart for the 5K on the women’s side was Janet Goodridge with a time of 1:21. Winners of the 2.4 mile swim were Zach Wheatley and Julia Green, and in the 1.2 mile swim it was Jeff Skladzien and Melanie Battaglia. Yaniv Shnaider and Laura Ohms took the honors in the 1,500 meter swim.

A Long Swim was founded by Doug McConnell, an Investment Banker and Open Water Swimmer, and his sister Ellen McConnell Blakeman, an avid athlete, marathon runner and Public Relations expert. Doug McConnell completed swims of the English Channel, the Catalina Channel and a circumnavigation of the Island of Manhattan, the three of which are the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. While McConnell continues to pursue marathon swims, the A Long Swim Series allows other open water swimmers and triathletes to compete in race conditions while they raise funds for ALS research. A Long Swim hosts annual swims in Lake Zurich, Crystal Lake, and Lake Michigan.

Ellen McConnell Blakeman lost her life to ALS in early 2018. Their father also lost his life to ALS in 2006. A Long Swim is dedicated to using open water swimming as a way to raise awareness and funds for ALS research, and it will not stop until there is an ALS survivor. To date, A Long Swim has raised $500,000 for ALS research.

Sponsors for the swim included Hampton Social, Beach Social, Parker Restaurant Group, US Foods, Medtronic, Phillips Men’s Wear, Infinit Nutrition, SBR Sports, Jolyn Swim Apparel, Bishop Racing and Vissant Capital.

A big thanks to all volunteers who made the event excellent!

To learn more, visit www.ALongSwim.org.


Marcia Cleveland, English Channel Swimmer, Triple Crown Swimmer, and recent Swimmer of the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland.


Deena Ali, A Long Swim Sponsored Athlete raising funds for ALS.


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