Three Irish lunatics headed for Siberia!

Tomorrow, three lunatics from opposite ends of the Island of Ireland will board a plane bound for the heart of Siberia. Nuala Moore from Dingle in Co. Kerry, Anne Marie Ward from Co. Donegal and Pádraig Mallon from Co. Armagh are heading to the city of Tyumen to join fellow ice swimming enthusiasts from around the world for the Russian Winter Swimming Championships.

Photograph – Unknown

The Siberian city of Tyumen, Russia’s oldest settlement in Siberia, in the depths of winter.

The temperature in Tyumen at the moment is about –25ºC at night, with a daytime maximum of –10ºC. Good and “fresh” then! The swimming will take place in a specially made hole in the ice, just under the bridge in the above photograph, so the water temperature will be as close to the 0ºC as possible… The Championships get underway on Saturday, when swimmers will have the opportunity to swim in 25 m and 50 m events, on both freestyle and breaststroke, as well as a 4 × 25 m relay event. On Sunday, freestyle events in the 150 m, 300 m, 500, 800 m and 1 km distances will be available, as well as a grueling 1+ km endurance event for the real die-hards!

Photograph – Nuala Moore

Nuala’s training régime attracts some media attention!

The Championships are affiliated with the International Ice Swimming Federation (link below) and a potential Bering Straits crossing being planned for 2013. Swimmers may be accepted into this crossing depending on their showing at these Championships. Please join me in wishing Nuala, Anne Marie and Pádraig the very best of luck!

Thanks to Ram Barkai of the International Ice Swimming Association for providing me with most of the information for this post!