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Swimming Around The World

Kate training in Dubai Marina

I spent the majority of my swimmer career competing against and comparing myself to other swimmers. There are many factors that now entice me to open water swimming , one of the big draw cards is a desire take on and beat my toughest critic and competitor – myself.  That is one of the reasons I can relate to the challenge that fellow open water swimmer Kate Willoughby is about to embark on as she sets out to become the first to ‘swim around the world’.  Kate will be taking on that toughest of swimmer partners – her own mental spirit and fortitude.

Kates swim has caught my attention for a number of reasons. Kate will be swimming around the world, not the actual globe, but the group of man-made Islands off Dubai that comprise Islands representing countries of the world. Apart from battling the elements it can also be very challenging to get permission to do this type of swim. Others have tried for swim approval and failed. Open Water swims are heavy on logistics and planning. This is an oft overlooked point when discussing marathon swims. The fact that Kate has even gained permission from the relevant authorities is testimony to her commitment to making this swim happen.

The vast majority of the time when open water swimmers talk about ‘acclimatising’ to water temperatures for a swim we think of cold water swimming , think English channel 14C water . Kates swim stands out as unique as she will have to endure water temperatures of around 28 degrees Celsius for her approximate 30km, 12 hours swim. Her first training swims resulted in moderate heat exhaustion and vomiting. Now Kates drink bottles come out of the boat freezer fully frozen!  This will also be Kates first full marathon swim. She is preparing for the swim while putting together her own team, holding down a full time job and doing the necessary training. There are have been a number of notable open water swims happen in the world this year and Kates looks set to be one of them. Follow her preparation and swim (scheduled for 21 Nov) at http://www.swimaroundtheworld.me/

Kate Willoughby

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