Bennett Blakeman Tackles Chicago Marathon as an A Long Swim (ALS) Sponsored Triathlete

A Long Swim

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We proudly introduce you to Bennett Blakeman, a sponsored A Long Swim athlete  Bennett is the son of Ellen McConnell Blakeman, Co-Founder of A Long Swim. Read Bennett’s story and consider partnering with him as he takes on the Chicago Triathlon.

In Bennett’s Own Words:

With just over one week to go before the Chicago Triathlon we are almost to our goal! Please partner with me to eradicate Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve and muscle cells.

In February, my mom Ellen, passed away after a twelve-year battle with ALS. Before this horrific disease took away her ability to write, speak, walk, and eventually breathe, my mom was an avid athlete – she completed 4 Chicago Marathons, and was also a competitive swimmer.

In honor of her life and love for running and swimming, I am competing in the Chicago Triathlon this month. Athletics gives me a way to carry her memory with me throughout my life, and the opportunity to continue the work she started when she co-founded “A Long Swim,” a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for collaborative ALS research using open water and marathon-distance swimming.

My brother and I have embraced our mother’s former role within the A Long Swim nonprofit, and plan to continue her legacy towards finding a cure. I would be eternally grateful if you would please consider joining us by contributing to this endeavor! You can find my fundraising page here.  

A Long Swim is a 501(c)3 with the mission of raising awareness and funds for collaborative ALS research through open water swimming events. Led by English Channel Swimmer Doug McConnell, A Long Swim is one of the most successful open water charity swims in history. In addition ultra marathon swims, A Long Swim hosts open water swimming events in and around Chicago and sponsors athletes who have a heart for ALS to further increase fundraising opportunities. Learn more at


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