“There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.” - Billy Connolly
So, the season’s over…or is it? It’s almost time to turn the clocks back as it’s approaching the most wonderful time of the year, with only fourteen, yes, fourteen weeks until Christmas (sorry, unsettling, I know). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to pack the wetsuit away, not just yet.
Winter swimming in sub-zero temperatures may not appeal to everyone, though it has been tipped as ‘the trend of 2015’ by The Telegraph as a brilliant way to boost physical and mental health and get on top of the impending new years health kick. That quick exhale of breath as you plunge into what feels like pure ice can be a real challenge to the mindset of any open water swimmer, regardless of experience. However, if done correctly, winter swimming can be life-affirming, the practice becoming addictive as you push your mind and body to the limit.
Here at Vigour Events, we’ll be running Winter Swim sessions on Sunday mornings at 10am. These will take place at Bardowie Loch, the location for our next scheduled event in May. Here, we have club house facilities available to thaw you out, with hot showers and tea and coffee, what more could you need? Visit our page on Winter Swimming to pick up some all-important tips on acclimatising to cold water and for a confirmed start date. The Bardowie loch challenge has proven to be a popular event in the past, with over forty swimmers turning up last year to attempt one and two kilometre swims; shorter distances as this is the first event of the year and it’s best to ease back in gently.
If you’d like to take the plunge before then, the Winter Swimming Gala is taking place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February - save the date! The gala is part of the international world cup, and takes place in an outdoor laned section of the Low Wood Bay Resort Marina. Each lane is 30m long and there are five separate events to take part in: 30m breaststroke, 60m freestyle, 4 x 30m relay, 120m freestyle and the big one - a 450m endurance swim. For the endurance swim, it is advised that only experienced cold water swimmers participate as the water is estimated to be below five degrees. The minimum requirement for entry is to swim 900m in water less than six degrees before the race, as this is a massive endurance trial and has limited entries. Each race is timed, and the fastest time per age group wins each category. Even if you don’t fancy taking part, it’s guaranteed to be a great day with plenty of atmosphere, there’s something for everyone, the varied event schedule makes for some great viewing and swimming.