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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > April 2018 > NEPTUNE STEPS


Richard Nelsson got to grips with the world’s only uphill swim race
Richard ready to thaw out in a hot tub

Pulling myself up a rope ladder, legs wobbling away, while gallons of murky water smashed into my face, the concept of uphill swimming suddenly felt very real.

I was attempting to scale a fourmetre high lock gate, one of the obstacles on the Red Bull Neptune Steps open water swim. Held at the Maryhill Locks on the Forth & Clyde canal in Glasgow, the 420m course includes seven locks, with competitors facing cargo nets, ladders and climbing walls at each gate. A height gain from start to finish of 18m means the event is billed as the world’s only uphill swim race.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Our April issue is our one-year anniversary issue, and it's a cracker to get you in the mood for the start of the main outdoor swimming season. On the training front, we've got a couple of kick and pull sets to try out or a fitness and technique boost, and would look at how poor technique may not only slow you down but also be a factor in shoulder injuries. Our contributor Becky Horsbrugh relates how she became a hero for a day in Bangladesh when she swam across the Bangla Channel. Then, just in case you thought outdoor swimming was a new thing, Richard Nelsson tells us the story of two swimmers from the 1950s who went about swimming in every tarn in the Lake District, naked.