609 in 2015 and later

648 past in 2015 (updated 17-07-'15)

Fraser Watson trains with GB ice swimmer Alistair Bell

It’s snowing lightly, the cold wind is piercing, and the risk of hypothermia is very real.

You’re in the remote area of Tregaron, high up on a mountain, miles from civilisation with zero phone reception to boot.

And you’re about to voluntarily dip into a lake measuring 34 degrees centigrade below human body temperature. Your insurance policy? Swimming trunks.

To me and you it’s called lunacy.

To Team GB ice swimmer Alistair Bell however, it’s called training.

I contacted the 32-year-old shortly after the British Championships in Hatfield (Yorkshire) in December, the event which ultimately sealed his GB selection. It had been some time since I joined an athlete for a training feature – but intrigue perhaps, curiosity, scepticism - the term ‘ice swimming’ was enough to arouse the sleeping beast.

Read the full report and see the pictures @westerntelegraph