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Nearly 25 years ago,in the speedoprene era,in which I still live year round,my four daughters and I made up almost a quarter of the field in the first 1.8K Sandycove Island Challenge. This year the majority of the 400+ starters were safely besuited,and everybody had fun. I swim arms only,towing a full set of metal hips and knees,and in the freshwater events use a pullbuoy to keep my toes out of the weeds. Perhaps this is cheating,but the joy of being in the top age group is being too delighted to be above ground and breathing to care.

Mike wins two Big Bobble Hats

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We asked you for your 2017 swimming goals.

Joel Garner Tick off more of Snowdonia’s lakes, enjoy the sea before the jellyfish arrive in August, stay safe and just cherish every moment in the open.

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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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