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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kevin Murphy Going For A Little Dip In The Cold

The long, cold nights of winter bring to mind the long, cold solo swims of International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer Kevin Murphy.

Over the course of his career, he has experienced more than his fair share of long, cold little dips as he calls his marathon efforts.

"...in [my] Loch Ness [crossing], I went unconscious for six hours because I went down with hypothermia. In fact when I am actually swimming, I hate it when I am in there. I spend the entire time thinking, 'What am I doing here and when can I get out?'" What I enjoy doing is finishing. I enjoy the adrenalin rush, overcoming the odds including one's own frailties."

And he has finished a remarkable number of marathon swims. He explains the cold, "The temperature when I started my first North Channel swim over 11 hours 21 minutes was 9ºC (48ºF) but fortunately by half way across, it had warmed up to 12ºC (53ºF). Aurlandsfjord's 27.5 km in 10 hours 46 minutes was also a little chilly while passing the inflow from glacier lakes. But again, it warmed up later on and offers fantastic scenery if anybody fancies having a go at that one).

My hurt gauge of my hands and feet tells me that Loch Ness (10.5 hours) is generally 9-12ºC with colder patches across the deeper bits which can be more extensive if the water's been churned up by the wind. When Des [Renford] and I raced in it [for 9 hours] there were said to be temperatures of 6-7ºC (42-44ºF). I don't know because I was too numb, but neither of us made it to the end

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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