Couch to 5k Swim ’18

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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https://www.waterwaysireland.org/

https://sharevillage.org/

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

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The Twelve Swims of Christmas…

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1          Saturday 20th December – Christmas Dip!  2pm Helens Bay, Co Down. A social swim or dip. Posted on facebook; Northern Ireland Outdoor swimming.

2          Sunday 21st December – Camlough Lake, Co Armagh, Ireland Ice Swimming – training session for Ice swimmers; 10am.

3          Sunday 21st December – Santa Splash, 1pm Arcadia, Portrush, Co Antrim. Donations to Marie Curie.

4          Wednesday 24th DecemberPIER 2 PIER WINTER SWIM, Carlingford, Co Louth, 1.45pm for 2pm start. Charity donations requested.

There is no entry fee just a bucket collection on the day and all proceeds go to Carlingford Day Centre.
CONTACT JENNIFER: +353863983403 loudyank@gmail.com
This is a ‘at your own risk’ event safety boats provided and Red Cross will attend
there will be a waiver to sign…..
DISTANCE: 200M / 400M
Annual Christmas pier to pier swim in carlingford Christmas Eve assemble on King John’s Pier at 1:45 for 2pm swim across to the south pier. This annual swim has become a traditional part of the carlingford Yuletide festivities and all monies raised in the bucket collection are donated to the Carlingford Day Centre. Approximate distance between piers is 150 metres. Wetsuits are optional but HIGHLY recommended.

5          Christmas Day – Newcastle Harbour; 10.30 am. Charity donations requested. Newry and Mourne.

6          Christmas Day – Myrtleville, Co Cork.

7 + 8    On Christmas Day and New Years Day – everyone will meet on Portmarnock beach, Co Wicklow.

9          New Years Day 2015 – Ice Swim Ireland Training; 12 noon, Camlough Lake, Co Armagh.

10        New Years Day 2015 – Browns Bay, Island Magee; 1pm. Fundraising for NI Childrens Hospice. 8th Annual New Year’s Day Dip http://newyeardip.weebly.com/

If anyone knows of more swims please let us know and we’ll add them to the list…

Merry Christmas!

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