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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Round Ireland Swim, A Marathon For The Ages

Sometimes you cannot say enough about some people - especially those people who swim 830 miles over 56 days around the whole of Ireland.

As Nuala Moore explained about the 2006 swim (see map above), "Round Ireland Swim team were five of us mainly, swimming 35 days over a 56-day period, with Henry O Donnell as the organizer in addition to contributing to some mileage. Daily, it was us five of us: Ian Claxton (30), Tom Watters (28), Anne Marie Ward (40), Ryan Ward (33 and brother of Anne Marie) and Nuala (37)."

"Anne Marie and I were the elder lemons, but we had this joke, 'When the weather or cold became too much, it was 'bring up the girls' - and we were thrown into the conditions. We developed the most amazing bond which allowed us to swim through. The south and west coasts were the most challenging due to the difficulties of the tides."

Derek Flannagan who coordinated Annemarie's North Channel swim in 2010 was also the marine coordinator for the Round Ireland with Brendan Proctor also as the command boat skipper.

As marathon swimmers can especially appreciate, the Round Ireland Swim was dramatic and the scale and immensity of what they accomplished is mind-boggling. On some days (21 out of 56), the conditions were just too rough. As Nuala says, "We are surrounded by wild water, very unpredictable and very tidal roaring in from the Atlantic Ocean - it was just brute force and love of the sea."

A remarkable effort and one of the great marathon efforts of the 21st century.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

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