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Friday, February 14, 2014

Karen Weir Knows No Bounds In The Open Water

Karen Weir of Paisley, Scotland swam as a child, but only in the last few years have she returned to her aquatic roots. "In 2010, my brother asked if I wanted to do the Great Scottish Swim with him."

She has not stopped since, swimming in many locations throughout Scotland, England, Ireland and Australia.

"Along with all the outdoor swimming I do, I also swim indoors with the Inverclyde Masters, swimming 4-5 times a week. I would do it every day if I had the time and am always looking forward to the next adventure, whether it is playing about in the Falls of Falloch or Glen Etive, swimming around an Island in Loch Lomond or an everyday swim surrounded by amazing scenery."

She completed several Great Swim events. "Last year I entered all five, but sadly the Great East Swim was cancelled due to weather."

She was unstoppable. "[Cancellation] did not stop me swimming though. Instead of swimming in the event, we spent the weekend swimming in the Lake District. I have taken part in the Epic Events' Derwent Water Swim and the Monster Swim in Loch Ness. I also swam from the island of Kerrera to the mainland in aid of the Fire Service charity the Family SupportTrust."

She has even received a bit of media attention for her efforts. "A few of us were filmed by ITV to be featured in their idents before programmes, this was good fun and it was great to see on the TV."

Her water temperature tolerance range extends widely. "I have just returned from Windermere where I took part in the Chill Swim event. This was great and I look forward to next year. In a few weeks I am off to Slovenia to take part in the Winter Swimming Championships at Lake Bled. This is the first year I have competed in winter events, but for the last 3 years I have continued to swim outdoors throughout the winter. I entered the Polar Bear event run by Vigour Events and later in the year I will also go to Ireland for the Sandycove Island swim."

And her fear knows no bounds. "Just last year I swam with a basking shark in the sea between Coll & Mull through an organised tour with Basking Shark Scotland. That was an amazing experience for me and my friends."

Even with all her open water swimming experiences around the world, swimming close to home seems to be high on her list. "If I were to pick a favorite moment in the water, it would have to be a night in Loch Lomond at Luss. It was a lovely night, the water was flat and calm. We were in the water when the rain started and the mist came down quickly. There was an eerie silence, heavy rain fell on the calm water along with claps of thunder off in the distance. It was over in minutes but amazing.

I love the beautiful lochs in Scotland, although I also enjoy swimming in the Lake District. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Loch Chon by Kinlochard."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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