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Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Courtesy of Heather Clatworthy and Doloranda Pember (daughter of Mercedes Gleitze), Portstewart, Northern Ireland.

"Since I was a little girl growing up in Portstewart sitting on the strand beach, twiddling the sand between my toes, I have looked across the sea to Donegal and wanted to swim to the other side," writes Heather Clatworthy.

"Now at the age of 33, I have decided that it’s now or never, and in July 2016, I plan to attempt the swim."

Those might have been the same thoughts of Mercedes Gleitze who swam this very course to raise money and boost tourism in 8 hours way back in 1929. The British swimmer was way ahead of her time was an inspiration for many back in the 1920s and remains an inspiration in particular for Clatworthy now.

The 13-mile (22.5 km) stretch in Northern Ireland is fraught with tides, currents and two inflowing rivers that were a challenge for Gleitze in 1929 and will present the same challenges for Clatworthy 87 years later.

Clatworthy is positive about her chance, but realistic. "[The conditions] make this a genuine challenge, and if I don't try [now], I will never know [if I can make it]. Currently, I am the fittest for swimming that I have ever been in my entire life. I feel that if I did the swim today, I would probably make it halfway before climbing on the boat.

That is why I have a training plan, and a lot of great friends and professionals on board to help me prepare myself the best I can both physically and mentally

Just like Gleitze back in 1929 - two hardy, charitably-minded women looking from Portstewart to Donagal 9 decades apart.

To follow Clatworthy's Swim for Portstewart charity event, visit here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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