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“Code Blue Fish” Back in the Water for the 36th Annual Swim Across the Sound Marathon

May 19, 2023

St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound Marathon will be celebrating 36 years on Saturday, July 29, as approximately 110 swimmers, accompanied by a fleet of 85 escort boats and 16 law enforcement boats, will swim across Long Island Sound to raise money and support for those who are battling cancer and their families.

This year, Hartford HealthCare is taking this iconic event state-wide, encouraging colleagues from all of it’s five regions across Connecticut to participate. To date, two Hartford HealthCare hospitals have formed teams for the open-water swim and even more regions have teams ready for the Swim Across the Sound Virtual Challenge.

Code Blue Fish

This year’s marathon will see the return of a fan favorite team – Code Blue Fish. Its members are comprised of St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s own Emergency Department staff including Ann Gorton, ED coordinator; Jaime Chila, ED nurse; Justyna Michalik, resident physician; and Martin Vanek, also a resident physician.

So where does Code Blue Fish usually place in the race? “We are medical professionals, not professional swimmers,” explains Ann Gorton, who is captain of the team and will be swimming in her 11th marathon. “We may not place first, but we continue to swim to support the cause – to support our patients and our community beyond their medical needs.”

This team’s efforts span far beyond the race itself. They are consistently one of the top fundraisers in support of Swim Across the Sound’s cancer support programs. Throughout the year, this team organizes a number of raffles and donation incentives to help them meet, and often surpass their fundraising goal.

> Help Code Blue Fish reach their goal

Cheer Them In

As the swimmers make their way across the Sound, supporters are invited from 2:30-6:30 p.m. to cheer them on as they make their final approach to Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport. The dockside celebration is free and open to the public. The maritime amusement center will be alive with music, entertainment, and the boardwalk shops and restaurant will be open, too. Children of all ages can partake in face painting, balloon art and more.

A Prestigious Event

St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound Marathon is recognized as one of “America’s Top 100 Open Water Swims.” Swimmers from all over the world have participated in the annual Marathon. At 15.5 miles, the Swim is one of the longest challenges on the World Open Water Swim Association (WOWSA) Top 100 list.

A Serious Challenge

The Swim Across the Sound Marathon presents a unique opportunity for swimmers to challenge their own stamina and achieve new goals. Like the ED Code Blue Fish, many swimmers and boaters choose to participate because cancer has affected their lives, or their family and friends in some way, and they want to help others with the challenges that cancer brings.

A Virtual Option

For those not up to the challenge of a marathon swim, battling tides, currents, jellyfish and more – Swim Across the Sound now offers a virtual challenge. Anyone can sign up and commit to 15.5 miles of activity throughout the month of July. Participants can walk, run, dance, kayak – any activity will do. Signing up is free and easy and you’ll be given all the tools you need to raise funds for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

> Learn more about the Virtual Challenge

Swim Across the Sound’s financial assistance program is a crucial lifeline to cancer patients who would otherwise have no other place to turn. Last year, Swim’s programs served over 30,000 people. For more information on the Swim, click here

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