Cold water swimming is definitely not for the faint hearted. Does it every get easy? Does the pain get any less? It’s always hard but your body does adjust and with the brain understanding what will happen helps. This being my second year of cold water swimming with no wetsuit and my goodness it’s hard. I can say with my hand on my heart I would not have carried on if it wasn’t for my friends and the support of the Pool2lake swimmers. Everyone rallies together and motivates one another. Our group is wonderful. Having the what’s app group and always having someone to swim with made it fun. Well almost fun!!!!
There were a few highlights for 2021 / 2022 winter. Swimming with ice in the St Albans Sub Aqua Club Lido made me giddy with excitement. The weatherman was accurate and forecast subzero temperatures, so I made sure I got to the lido just as it opened to get the full ice experience. My coldest swim was 2.7 degrees, and I was in for 6 minutes.
The Scottish Winter Swimming Championships at Loch Tay on the 5 March was something I was nervous about, but it ended up being an outstanding weekend. Thank you to my friends Susie and Lynn for being the driving forces behind the super weekend. Swim Wild UK put on an extremely well organised event. Swim Your Swim provide the safety cover which allowed us to push our swimming limits under safe conditions. The booking of the swim places went within about 15 minutes. If you do wish to attend the event in 2023, make sure you are organised and book super-fast.
We all had to have a medical test on the day of our swim and that included blood pressure and temperature checks. As I was swimming the 450m endurance event, we had to have an assistant monitoring us. As we know the swimmer doesn’t always necessarily know that they are suffering hypothermia or not performing normally so your assistant will be the judge as to whether to allow you to continue or call off the swim. Leon, my husband was very efficient and counted the laps correctly. Each lane had an official to make sure you touched each end correctly. No tumble turns allowed.
I got to meet some swimmers and coaches I follow on Instagram which is always nice to put a face to a name.
The swim took place in Loch Tay, Aberfeldy which is 24km long and glorious. The actual swim event was held in the Marina on Loch Tay and we swam in 25m marked lanes. You can take a dip in Loch Tay anytime to get a refreshing start to your weekend away.
The Scottish Ice Championships offer lots of different events like 50m freestyle, breaststroke swimming, synchro and maybe butterfly is your talent!!!
We stayed in the Kenmore Hotel which is a 10 minute walk from the actual swim event and there were a few restaurants withing walking distances for evening meals. My husband loved trying all the local craft beers. It’s recommended you book early as rooms to go very quickly.
The St Albans lido aka “the chiller” which we have very appropriately named, prepared us so well for the cold water swimming. It honestly never seems to warm up!!!!
So, who is entering for 2023?