The annual UK Cold Water Swimming Championships are set to take place on 26 January at Tooting Bec Lido, South London.
It’s deepest winter; it’s cold and dark outside and the heating is cranked up. You’re cosy and warm under the duvet. Now imagine stripping down to your trunks and leaping into the ice-cold water of the UK’s largest open-air, unheated fresh-water pool. Not sure? Well, that’s exactly what hundreds of swimmers will be doing on Saturday 26 January 2013 as they compete in the fifth UK Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido, South London.
If you don’t fancy a swim, don’t worry as the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships have lots more on offer for all the family. As well as cheering on 400 (fool) hardy swimmers as they race in freezing cold water, spectators can keep warm with a hog roast, crepes and hot drinks, or try the speciality real ales in the pop-up pub. The heated ‘North Pole’ marquee will include a host of other stalls and attractions, including a bicycle-powered cinema. Entry for spectators is only £2 per person, payable on the day.
The UK Cold Water Swimming Championships are brought to you by South London Swimming Club. If you fancy taking the plunge, registration opens today at slsc.org.uk/cwsc but hurry as tickets sell out fast. Events range from the 30-metre ‘head-up breaststroke’ to the gruelling 450-metre endurance race. Alternatively, get four friends together and enter the team relay. With average January water temperature at 3°C, jumping in is an achievement in itself and brilliant fun. A hot tub, Finnish sauna and hot showers will help competitors thaw out after their races. And if you can’t win the race on speed you’ve always a chance of winning the best hat competition.
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