Great Britain /UK

Iver Heath man completes record-breaking 13 Lakes Challenge for charity

A man from Iver Heath has become the first person to complete the gruelling 13 Lakes Challenge in just three days.

George Tapling, 20, swam 71km across all of the publicly accessible lakes in the Lake District to raise money for the water charity Just a Drop - the charity brings sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities, transforming lives.

Is it safe to swim in the River Thames?

The Thames has a reputation as a dirty river. It’s not totally undeserved. I took part in the notorious Hampton Court to Kingston swim in October 2012, when I was one of 338 people who reported getting ill. No specific cause was identified. It was most likely a bacterial or viral infection. In the days prior to the race, rainfall was several times the average for the time of year. 

Aussie marathon swimmer to challenge English Channel record

Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel is planning to create a slice of history with a 35th crossing of the English Channel after being given a special exemption to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Considered one of the greatest ultra-swimmers of all time, she has so far tamed the treacherous stretch of water between England and France 31 times and is planning to add four more crossings within the next month.

"I didn't make it across the English Channel - but training for it bought me time"

Before swimming the English Channel, Lee Brogan was struggling with his mental health. Training for it gave him the time he needed to get better.​

Training alone for hours on end in cold, rough seas, battling currents, swells and jellyfish, all in the knowledge that you’ll have to wake up the following day and do it all over again. For most people, the life of an aspiring English Channel swimmer is not one they would wish to lead.

Wild Swimming: One of life’s great pleasures

Open water swimming, or wild swimming, is the practise of swimming outside in an open body of water. The activity has trickled back into the mainstream in recent years, with an increasing number of people revelling in the pleasure of a dip in the great outdoors. Search #wildswimming on Instagram and witness a consistent aesthetic; what once was a jump in a lake or ocean has been curated into a bourgeois social media trend. 

How ice swimming helped me get control of my anxiety

I knew that I could die if I stayed in there too long. I kept asking myself if it was safe, or was I stupid for exposing myself to the extreme cold in an icy lake. The level of pain that gripped my whole body was intense and I had to fight hard to stay in control of my thoughts. As my extremities started to go numb and the alarm bells inside my head intensified, I focused on my breath. That helped. A little. 

Come on in: Norfolk’s wild swimmers explain the appeal of taking a dip in the river

While swimming pools have remained closed across the region, swimmers have turned to East Anglia’s network of rivers for their fix of water-based exercise. Nick Richards meets some of our wild swimmers

Lockdown has limited our freedom and liberty so much that exercise addicts have had to think on their feet. Cyclists ditched the roads for sessions on their turbo trainers in front of apps on their TV screens, rowers dusted off their rowing machines and runners pounded the treadmill rather than hit the pavements.

Croatian Swimmer Dina Levacic Readies for New Challenge: Gibraltar Strait and North Channel

Croatian long-distance swimmer Dina Levacic, 24, announced on Wednesday that she intends to swim the 15-kilometer-long Gibraltar Strait between Spain and Morocco and the 34-kilometer-long North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland between August 10 and 21 this year.

"I have prepared well for these swimming marathons, I will do my best to succeed and I have no fear," Levacic said at a press conference in Split, as reported by Net.hr.  

Best open water and wild swimming spots in and around London

Dive in, unwind and de-stress with a swim in the wild. 
You're burned out — but can’t turn to the usual pick-me-ups to get you through. Massages are off the cards until further notice and you can’t book a last-minute yoga retreat on the White Isle to quell jangling nerves. The answer? Take a wild dip. Swimming has plenty of fitness and meditative benefits but with pools still closed for now, the water babies among us have been left deprived.

How has COVID-19 affected English Channel swims this year?

Student Daniel Shailer has a Channel crossing booked for this year. He's been looking into how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Channel swimming this year.

Channel swimming is always unpredictable, and that has never been more true than this year. Government restrictions on unnecessary travel, social distancing and international travel forced all Channel swims in June to cancel and placed much of the rest of the season in jeopardy.

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