100 Image Retro – Couch to 5k + ILDSA Lough Erne Swim

Shame we weren’t able to run the 2020 Couch to 5k with Waterways Ireland and the Share Discovery Village Fermanagh but here is a wee retrospective of the last 4 years courses and ILDSA Lough Erne Championships… Here’s hoping 2021 sees us getting back to training proper…

 

Flow Swimming Northern Ireland Open Water Coaching and Swimming with Mo McCoy + Paul McCambridge

Silver Strand + Malinbeg Harbour Donegal

©Paul McCambridge 2015 - MAC Visual MediaSilver Strand, Malin Beg, Co Done

©Paul McCambridge – Silver Strand, Malin Beg, Co Donegal

Words Maureen McCoy – Photography Paul McCambridge

On the far western shores of Donegal not far from the great cliffs of Slieve League sits the pretty curve of Silver Strand at Malin Beg, 400m of golden sand beside a small harbour favoured by divers.

Six kilometres from Glencolmcille is the pretty Silver Strand beach at Malin Beg. It is a steep climb down the steps from the car park to the enticing white sands of the horseshoe-shaped Silver Strand at Malin Beg but worth every bit of effort. At approximately 400 metres long and gently shelving waters, this beach provides excellent swimming and set as it is down such a flight of steps, the strand is never crowded. Nestled beneath the grassy headlands it is as close to a perfect beach as you may likely find. Count the steps going down and on the way back up to see if you can get the same number!

The nearby harbour at Malin Beg is rich in sea life, making it popular with divers and snorkelers. The harbour is set in a neat natural cove, making it extremely well sheltered.

Excerpt from Wild Swimming in Ireland – the Book

50 - Donegal - Silverstrand + Malinbeg Harbour 05a Wm

©Paul McCambridge – Silver Strand and Malin Beg Harbour, Co Donegal

 

Pollock Holes, Kilkee

50 - Clare - Pollock Holes and Kilkee Diving Boards - 01a WM

Swimming at Pollock Holes, Kilkee, Co Clare.

Words by Maureen McCoy, photography by Paul McCambridge

At the mouth of Kilkee’s horse-shoe bay step onto the barren and exposed landscape of the Duggerna Reef. Revealed at low tide, the reef is a plateau made up of slabs of rock smoothed by the twice daily ebb and flow of the sea. As the tide recedes several pools are revealed, these are the Pollock Holes.

Slipping into these sheltered pools where anemones wave their soft tentacles in search of unseen creatures the colourful underwater world is far removed from the hard and flat grey stone above. Even as the Atlantic rages at the edge of the reef creating swathes of sea foam which blows across the pools, gathering like curds and whey on the surface, one can peacefully swim and snorkel. The yellows and purples of underwater plants lighting up the pale waters.

Paul McCambridge - Diving - WIld Swimming in Ireland 02 WM

Off season at the diving boards near the Pollock Holes, Kilkee, Co Clare.  Near the Pollock Holes there is a tiny gap in the wall of the coastal road leading to a curved stairway. Passing signs of; diving prohibited / unsafe, the steps lead down to two newly refurbished boards which strain out along the side of the cliff.

These pools have become an institution and although well-known and even busy during summer they are well worth the visit. Check out the stepped diving area close to Kilkee beach. Warm up in the café with scones and hot coffee after your swim.

Excerpt from Wild Swimming in Ireland 2016

Hook Head Lighthouse, Co Wexford

 

50 - Wexford 33 Hook Head Web

At the very tip of the Hook peninsula stands Irelands oldest working lighthouse at Hook Head. A scramble across the rocks to the front and mid to high tide this rugged rock pool is created. Crashing waves are broken by the rocks and disperse into sea foam, the texture of bubble bath. Be prepared to have an audience at this rather public wild swim! Suitable for strong swimmers and calm conditions only.

Excerpt from Wild Swimming in Ireland 2016

Hook Head Lighthouse 97 copy

Connacht Connections…

©Paul McCambridge / MAC Visual Media

 

Co Galway

Atlantic Masters Swimming Club Galway Sea swimming group skins and wetsuit

 

Co Sligo

Sligo Masters and Open Water Swim Club Skins and wetsuit 

 

Disclaimer; These are connections to like-minded folks – Please remember everyone swims at their own risk.

Connecting Outdoor + Openwater Swimmers and Dippers

Promote your Group or Club

We’ve been inundated with requests about where individuals can find groups/clubs who swim or dip outdoors around our coastline and waterways. We have decided to publish an online resource for information of such groups/clubs on www.wildswim.wordpress.com.

Any Openwater, Outdoor Swimming group or club who wish for their info to be put on our online resource please email swimfree4@gmail.com with contact info i.e. a contact Name, Facebook page link, Website, Email etc, also whether skins only, wetsuit only or both and general times that your group or club meet.

We hope this will give individuals looking for some company an easy way to find connections in their locality.

“Safety in numbers!”

Leinster Connections…

 

Connecting Outdoor + Openwater Swimmers and Dippers

 

Leinster Open Sea Swimming Sea Swimming in Dublin and Leinster. Leinster Open Sea and the Sea Swimming Clubs of Leinster run the Leinster Open Sea Calendar of Sea Swimming Races. Leinster Open Sea runs the two most prestigious sea swimming races in Ireland the Dublin City Liffey Swim and the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Race.  Website Leinster Open Sea Swimming

 

Co Dublin

40 Foot Walrus Winter Swimming Group

A Small group of swimmers who promote Winter/Ice Swimming , based at the 40 Foot in Sandycove, Ireland. Established 1850.

East Coast of Ireland Open Water Swimming Based at Killiney Beach, Dublin. Our Mission is to encourage all levels safely into open water swimming regardless of what you wear all welcome

 

Co Louth

Carlingford Swimmers Skins and wetsuit. Contact Harry G Jordan

 

Co Wicklow

Wicklow Swimming Club The Club is, traditionally, a Sea Swimming club with races taking place in Wicklow Harbour, the picturesque Wicklow Bay, and the Vartry river which enters the sea at Wicklow Harbour. The sea swimming season runs from the first Sunday in June to the end of August.

 

Co Wexford

Wexford Masters Openwater Seaswimming Club Sea swimming club based at Curracloe Beach. Website Wexford Sea Swimming Club

 

Disclaimer; These are connections to like-minded folks – Please remember everyone swims at their own risk.

******

Promote your Group or Club

We’ve been inundated with requests about where individuals can find groups/clubs who swim or dip outdoors around our coastline and waterways. We have decided to publish an online resource for information of such groups/clubs on www.wildswim.wordpress.com.

Any Openwater, Outdoor Swimming group or club who wish for their info to be put on our online resource please email swimfree4@gmail.com with contact info i.e. a contact Name, Facebook page link, Website, Email etc, also whether skins only, wetsuit only or both and general times that your group or club meet.

We hope this will give individuals looking for some company an easy way to find connections in their locality.

“Safety in numbers!”

Ulster Connections…

©Paul McCambridge
Couch to 5K swimming program, Lough Erne, Fermanagh.

 

 

Co Antrim

JLS (Jordanstown Lough Swimmers) Both skins and wet suits.

 

Co Armagh

Camlough Lake Both skins and wetsuit

Lough Neagh Monster Dunkers Skins only dunkers, Discovery Centre, Craigavon

Lurgan masters and open water swimming club Both skins and wetsuits. Lurgan and Craigavon.

 

Co Cavan

Gone Swimming – Cootehill Both skins and wetsuits.

 

Co Down

Ballyhornan Sea Swimming Group Skins and wetsuit

Donaghadee “Chunky Dunkers” Swimming Gang! SKINS ONLY GROUP  Skins only dunkers.

Brompton Belles&Beaux Dippers Bangor based

Le Grand Bleu  Meet at Helen`s Bay mainly on Sunday afternoon

 

Co Fermanagh

Trory Tuesday – Open water swimmer Brian O’Reilly and a few hardy souls swim at Trory Jetty, near Enniskillen from May through to October but many swim all year round. They have a Whatsapp group called Trory Tuesday.

Disclaimer; These are connections to like-minded folks – Please remember everyone swims at their own risk.

Promote your Group or Club

We’ve been inundated with requests about where individuals can find groups/clubs who swim or dip outdoors around our coastline and waterways. We have decided to publish an online resource for information of such groups/clubs on www.wildswim.wordpress.com.

Any Openwater, Outdoor Swimming group or club who wish for their info to be put on our online resource please email swimfree4@gmail.com with contact info i.e. a contact Name, Facebook page link, Website, Email etc, also whether skins only, wetsuit only or both and general times that your group or club meet.

We hope this will give individuals looking for some company an easy way to find connections in their locality.

“Safety in numbers!”

 

Munster Connections…

Co Cork

Ballyhass Lakes Freshwater venue near Mallow. Skins and wetsuit

Lough Hyne Lappers Skins and wetsuit

Myrtleville Selkies  Skins and wetsuit

Sandycove Island Swimmers Skins and wetsuit

 

Co Kerry

Tralee Bay Swimming  Skins and wetsuit swimming group based in Fenit. Contact Kevin Williams

 

Co Waterford

Newtown and Guillamene Swimming Club  Based in Tramore, Skins and wetsuit

 

Disclaimer; These are connections to like-minded folks – Please remember everyone swims at their own risk.

Promote your Group or Club

We’ve been inundated with requests about where individuals can find groups/clubs who swim or dip outdoors around our coastline and waterways. We have decided to publish an online resource for information of such groups/clubs on www.wildswim.wordpress.com.

Any Openwater, Outdoor Swimming group or club who wish for their info to be put on our online resource please email swimfree4@gmail.com with contact info i.e. a contact Name, Facebook page link, Website, Email etc, also whether skins only, wetsuit only or both and general times that your group or club meet.

We hope this will give individuals looking for some company an easy way to find connections in their locality.

“Safety in numbers!”

Couch to 5k Swim 2019

couch to 5k-2019

Coming to Lough Erne for the third year running!

The Couch to 5k Swim Programme over the past two years has seen swimmers of various levels from new to open water, to seasoned swimmers working on building their endurance and speed.

The 2019 format will consist of five fortnightly coached sessions focusing on swim technique, skills and building endurance towards the end goal of either The Ted Keenan Mile or 5k ILDSA open water events. Swimmers are free to choose whether to wear a wet-suit or not.

Sponsored by Waterways Ireland

The primary venue is Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea

Dates and times to be finalised.

Coaches: Maureen McCoy, Paul McCambridge, Kealan McCambridge

Watch this space…

Info at swimfree4@gmail.com

Couch to 5k Swim ’18

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 15a

Words Maureen McCoy

Photography Paul McCambridge and Kealan McCambridge

2018’s Couch to 5km Swim Programme ran throughout June and July with this summer treating us to extraordinarily good weather with clear skies, calm conditions and warm waters.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 04a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 05a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 06a

 

 

Over the past two months almost 50 swimmers have taken on the challenge of building their swim skills, technique and endurance towards competing in the ILDSA Lough Erne Championship event held on the 4th August.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 02a

Several of the swimmers had never ventured into open water before, some were learning a new stroke – Front Crawl, and others had the goal of improving their skills, confidence and endurance in open water.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 01a

Coaches and mentors Maureen McCoy, Kealan and Paul McCambridge from SWIMFREE Outdoor Swimming Association, have worked with each of the swimmers to improve technique, ensure their safety and guide them through the various challenges swimming outdoors can raise, ultimately preparing for the ILDSA Lough Erne event.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 13a

 

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 18a

 

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 12a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 11a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 28a

The culmination of their hard work was this Saturday when 30 of the Couch to 5k Swimmers completed the full 5 kilometre distance and 10 completed the Ted Keenan Mile swim.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 27a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 25a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 24a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 03a

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 07a

When all swimmers were safely and happily home, the ladies of Cootehill, Cavan and thereabouts played their final card – a picnic to rival all picnics! Alongside training and focusing on their own swims the ladies laid on the most wonderful spread of salads, cold cuts and cakes, all washed down with sparkling elderflower cordial… !

 

 

Swimmers took part in the Couch to 5k Swim Programme for many reasons and to mention one local man; Stephen Cooper of Enniskillen has been raising funds for Breast Cancer research. To date Stephen has raised just over £2500.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 14a

If you would like to donate;

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-cooper-kirsty-burrell

 

SWIMFREE coaches and organisers would like to thank WATERWAYS IRELAND for their sponsorship and support of the programme. SHARE Discovery Village, for providing a fantastic venue, friendly and helpful staff. ILDSA for facilitating Couch to 5k Swimmers and Swim Ireland for providing swim caps to the participants.

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 21a

The ILDSA has been running the Lough Erne 17km Irish Championship for over 25 years with the longer 25km distance added several years ago, both are “Skins” (ie non-wetsuit) swims, more recently adding 10k and 5k distances and this year was the first of the Ted Keenan Mile Swim.

 

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 22a

 

Couch to 5k Swimmers Results

Female Skins                                                             Male Skins

1st        Chrissy Lunny                                               1st        Tim Fagan

2nd       Polly Lyons                                                    2nd       Podge McKeon

3rd        Therese Macseain                                       3rd        Ray Smith

 

Female Wetsuit                                                       Male Wetsuit

1st        Nicola Burchmore                                      1st        Lee York

2nd       Ruth Durham                                              2nd       Stephen Cooper

3rd        Jenny Elliott York                                       3rd        Colm Connaughton

Well done all!

040818MAC - Couch to 5k 10a

 

 

*******************

 

https://www.waterwaysireland.org/

https://sharevillage.org/

http://www.ildsa.info/index.php