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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > October 19 > Dare to do it

Dare to do it

Ella Foote meets Doloranda Pember, daughter of open water pioneer Mercedes Gleitze

AS I WENT THROUGH LIFE AND LISTENED TO OTHER PEOPLE, I DISCOVERED LOTS OF SIMILAR STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE DYING AND ONLY THEN THEIR RELATIVES LEARNING THEY HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

Mercedes Gleitze was the first British woman to swim across the English Channel

Swimming icon Mercedes Gleitze is no stranger to Outdoor Swimmer magazine; she was the first British woman to swim across the English Channel and a long-distance swimming pioneer. Her tale has often been woven into other swim stories that have appeared on these pages, but to her daughter Doloranda Pember, the swimming star was unfamiliar. It was only after her mother’s death in 1981 that Doloranda and her siblings discovered what a legend she was. Suitcases full of newspaper cuttings, letters, journals, photographs, telegrams and documents uncovered a successful and colourful swimming career. Years later, after having her own children and retiring, Doloranda revisited her mother’s archives and this year, her eighty-fifth, Doloranda published her mother’s biography, In the Wake of Mercedes Gleitze: Open Water Pioneer.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Along with the rest of the world we watched in awe on the morning of 17 September as Sarah Thomas swam into Dover to complete the first ever 4-way English Channel solo. The 37-year-old American and cancer survivor entered the record books after an incredible 54 hours and 10 minutes of swimming. An epic challenge that has rightly captured the world's attention. We were privileged to be part of Sarah's story as Outdoor Swimmer journalist and member of Sarah's support crew Elaine Howley posted live social media updates of the swim as it happened. Read Elaine's eye-witness account of Sarah's 4-way on page 32. Whatever the size of your goals, Outdoor Swimmer magazine aims to inspire your swimming adventures. As always, this issue brings you swim tips, training advice, destination and event reports, stunning swim photography and the most comprehensive UK and international event listings to help you plan your swims.