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LUCK OF THE IRISH

American jia H jung flew to Dublin to immerse herself in an Irish Obsession – the 96th Dublin City Liffey Swim

Born and raised in Massachusetts,I went to schools named Doherty with teachers named Kennedy and O’Connor and students with names like Beibhinn and Padraic and surnames like Murphy, Fitzpatrick, Callahan and Sullivan. I ate corned beef, listened to The Cranberries and read James Joyce. It was only natural that I yearned to visit Ireland.

Having gotten hooked on open water swimming after the inaugural one-mile swim in Boston’s Charles River in 2007, I framed my Irish pilgrimage around the 96th Annual Liffey Swim in Dublin, which was to take place on 19 September, 10 days after my 34th birthday.

I drove into Dublin during rush hour the night beforehand, hair still tousled from the Cliffs of Moher where I had stood that very morning after a counterclockwise road trip that had begun in Dublin and wound through Belfast, Beaghmore, County Donegal, Yeats’s grave, Inishcrone, Doolin, Galway and all three Aran Islands. My arrival coincided with Culture Night so, rather than rest up, I stalked the unimaginably literary, historic, hip and mysterious streets of Dublin, all the while directing a nervous side eye at the horrifically low, shallow and dirty looking Liffey whenever I was near it, which was always. I’d swum in urban waters, but none of them had been so narrow, so stagnant and so cold looking. Whenever I revealed my intentions to locals, I was met with a guffaw of “Fair play to you!”, followed by a stern warning, “Don’t drink the water.”

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About Outdoor Swimmer

There is wild swimming and there is really wild swimming. This issue we bring you some pretty extreme swimming from the Arctic Circle. It is thrilling stuff, but if you like your thrills a little more genteel then check out our feature on swimming walks in Devon. Elsewhere in the mag we are feeling pretty zen: breathe deeply and read our features on yoga for open water swimmers and the benefits of mindful swimming. Not all of us are lucky enough to live near the open water. For many, me included, our regular dose of outdoor swimming is from our local lido. We look at the lido revival that is taking place around the country. As well as more event reviews and event listings than ever before we also have tips on better backstroke from Terry Laughlin, how to train with paddles from Fiona Ford and Ed Williams teaches you how to bounce back from failure. Plus, gear reviews, nutrition and loads more!
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