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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pádraig Mallon, Man In The Middle Of Much

If there is anyone who embodies the spirit of open water swimming while possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for in a genuinely humble and understated manner, it is certainly Pádraig Mallon of Ireland.

The extraordinary event director, ice swimmer and channel swimmer is multi-talented, multi-faceted and multi-focused. With a sincere humility and obvious joy in his stroke, Mallon put his handprints all over the global open water swimming map throughout 2013.

Mallon became only the third person in history - other than the venerable Kevin Murphy and Allison Streeter - to complete the North Channel and English Channel in the same summer besides serving as the chairman and co-organiser with Aoiffe Lynch of the massively successful Camlough Lake Water Festival.

He is also one of the very few ice swimmers to also complete an Ironman triathlon. To be able to complete a full Ironman and swim a mile in 3.5ºC (38.3ºF) is rare achievement and challenges the mind and body in uniquely different ways. He drives himself with profoundly simple but audacious ethos: "If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough." And he achieves his dreams with a lock-down focused goal-setting character: "Mental ability is more important than the physical ability. If the mind fails, you will never make it but if the mind is strong, you have the finish line in sight."

But in addition to pushing himself as an athlete, the double Guinness world record holder (for relays) is also the Vice Chairman of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and one of the organisers of the 2013 Irish Marathon Swim Series. Helping others achieve their own dreams is part of his very DNA. His year-round efforts - to either play a part in someone else's success or swim the part to his own success - led to his well-deserved nomination at the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year:

Pádraig Mallon works at a feverish pace year-round. Not only was the understated Irish personality busy swimming across the most notorious channel in the world, the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland, but he did so only 6 weeks after crossing the English Channel. If the water was cold, rough and jellyfish-strewn, Mallon was game. He also became Northern Ireland’s first certified ice swimmer and participated in the Russian Winter Swimming Championships. He also brings the joy and challenge of the open water to others: neoprene or bioprene, competitive or fitness. Mallon was one of the organisers of the 2013 Irish Marathon Swim Series and the multiple-event Camlough Lake Water Festival. For his commitment to the sport, for his unselfish attitude and joy in bringing others to the sport, and for his own athletic accomplishments in the cold, rough waters of the British Isles, Pádraig Mallon is a worthy nominee for the 2013 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

The World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominees include:

1. Alexander Brylin, Ice Swimmer from Siberia (Russia)
2. Damián Blaum, Around The World Marathoner (Argentina)
3. Darren Miller, Achieving the Oceans Seven (U.S.A.)
4. Doug Woodring, Energetic Environmentalism (Hong Kong)
5. Glen Christiansen, Recovering from Trauma (Sweden)
6. Jim McConica, Ageless Wonder (U.S.A.)
7. Jose Diaz, Horizontes Sin Fronteras (Spain)
8. Mally Richards, 60 Years In The Making (South Africa)
9. Oussama Mellouli, Olympic Ambassador (Tunisia)
10. Pádraig Mallon, Extraordinaire Event Director & Swimmer (Ireland)
11. Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa, Getting Things Strait in Gibraltar (Spain)
12. Thomas Lurz, World Champion (Germany)
13. Tomi Stefanovski, Mastering the Traversee (Macedonia)
14. Vojislav Mijić, Tirelessly Resilient Race Director (Serbia)
15. Wayne Riddin, Midmar Mile Miracle (South Africa)

Online voting takes place here.

Photo shows Pádraig Mallon with Billy Wallace of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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