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Gavin Maitland underwent a double lung transplant at the age of 41. He now swims to raise awareness of organ donation


“If you come across a dead body in the water, make sure you tell one of the kayakers!” the wetsuited man standing next to us said as he grinned at his friends.

My 15-year-old daughter, Riley, and I looked at each other and laughed. Dark humour indeed. The man was one of a hundred or so athletes who congregated at 6:30 am on this Saturday morning in July at the marina in Liberty State Park for a memorable open-water swim.

The New York and New Jersey waterways have long been reputed to be so polluted that it was said that fish could not survive. Twenty years ago, swimming in the Hudson River was unimaginable. Nowadays, the water is so clean that open-water swimming around the island of Manhattan is commonplace. Just don’t swallow too much water.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to our training special! Whether you have signed up for your first open water event or are planning an endurance challenge we have a plan for you – turn to page 44 for our one mile, 5k and 10k training schedules. We also have an intensive 10k DIY training camp for more advanced swimmers, as well as advice on how to successfully swim 24 miles in 24 hours and train for a swimrun event. Plus, our resident Olympian Cassie Patten answers your training queries and Total Immersion head coach Terry Laughlin trains your brain as well as your body. And if you haven’t yet signed up to an event to train for, check out our full listings starting on page 80. Outdoor swimming isn’t all about chasing that PB though. We hear from self-confessed dipper Joe Minihane about how wild swimming helped cure his anxiety and Ella Foote swims with Tessa Wardley, the author of a new book on mindfulness and swimming. And Jenny Landreth delves into the history books to explore the advice given to female swimmers in the 19th century. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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