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Christmas Presents

Tributes to Martin Cullen: Irish open water swimming legend

Martin Cullen, a towering figure in the marathon swimming community, passed away shortly before Christmas 2016. We asked three people who knew him well to share their thoughts.

“Back at the turn of the century, Martin took a successful and proud marathon tradition in Ireland and whipped it forward. He started marathon sea swims to Inishbofin Island and in Ireland’s only fjord, Killary. In 2004 and 2005 he organised (and swam himself) eight relay teams from Ireland to swim the English Channel of which three completed two-way crossings and five one-way crossings. Many of these swimmers went on to swim solos with Martin on their boat for support.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

One of the things that keeps me going through the winter is my daily outdoor dip, whatever the weather or temperature. A few years ago this would have been considered pretty odd behaviour by many, but opinions seem to be changing as outdoor swimming and cold water swimming is featured more and more in the media. Indeed, a group of sea swimmers now feature daily on the BBC in the short films between programmes! Find out the story behind the swimmers in our news section. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from Beth French about her close encounter with a shark in the Molokai Channel, we meet English Channel swimming legends Kevin Murphy and Sally Minty-Gravett and gain an insight into what happens when a swim goes wrong from Mickey Helps’s story of his unsuccessful two-way English Channel swim. I have really been enjoying Terry Laughlin’s series on mindfulness in swimming, which he brings to a close this issue with a look at swimming as ‘moving meditation’. It is a really interesting element to introduce to your training sessions. If you haven’t decided what swims you would like to complete in 2017, check out our event listings. And remember, events are not just for competitive swimmers – a race is only a race if you race it, otherwise it is just a lovely swim. We have some exciting news to share about H2Open – turn to page 27 to learn about our big plans for 2017 and how the magazine is changing. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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