Two ‘half of mad’ Limerick dads are to courageous freezing temperatures in a Russian lake inside the wish of earning a top region at the impending ice swimming World Championships, run by means of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA). Brave Mark Dempsey (43) and John Ryan (50) are to fly to the Arctic Circle, Tuesday, for the knee-knocking assignment, in order to see them compete in opposition to a hundred and eighty others in a grueling 1km race.
Wearing only their goggles, caps, and togs, the shivering participants will courageous minus 20 diploma air temperatures, in addition to the zero-diploma Celsius temperatures of Lake Semyonovskoe, placed on the Kola Peninsula, north Murmansk, sporting handiest their goggles, caps, and togs. The championships take area March 14-18 in a place domestic to walruses, where hardy locals apparently swear through the health advantages of regular bathing in its icy waters. “It’s 22 miles in the Arctic Circle. The air temperature can be minus 20 and the water may be zero stages, and we ought to swim one kilometer in only our swimming togs, and our goggles,” explains Dempsey, a father of from Garryowen. “No wet suits allowed,” he apprehensively provides. Both, who are members of Limerick Masters swimming membership, agree to being “half mad”, but there’s “some sort of amusement in it” too, they laughed.
Dempsey has additionally competed for Ireland in two World Triathlon Championships, in Switzerland (2006) and in Hamburg (2007), and was an “assistant” to former Athletics Ireland staying power train Chris Jones. While competing in an global ice swim held at Clontarf Baths remaining month, in temperatures of 1.9 ranges Celsius, Dempsey’s frame became “black and blue” due to the cold conditions. “When you hit water your frame contracts, and you’re looking to stretch out due to the fact you’re looking to swim. So, my muscle groups were being pulled apart even as they were seeking to agreement on the equal time, I could not be touched for three or four days afterwards because I became so sore.” On top of his grueling schooling regime, he additionally sticks to a stunning weight-reduction plan, which incorporates a pint or two “as part of my schooling”. “I do not consume cake. I’m now not into chocolate. I struggle to put on weight due to the fact I’m so active. After a cold swim I’ll go home and have 4 sausages, 4 rashers, 4 eggs, four slices of bread, a cup of espresso, and that’s just to combat off the bloodless,” he provides. Dempsey and Ryan tour to Russia as a part of a 20-strong Irish team which include athletes, trainers, and family.
They admit they haven’t begun to swim in zero degree temperatures, which can lead to a sudden onset of hypothermia. However, no matter the dangers involved, each were confident that, having spent the beyond seven months education gradually colder waters around Ireland, they’ve “acclimatised” their our bodies for what lies ahead. They have additionally regularly been joined on education periods through the previous Shannon, Munster, and Ireland rugby player Rosie Foley, a sister of the late Munster and Irish rugby famous person Anthony Foley, which has given them an added self assurance increase. Ryan, a father of 3 from Granville Park, says: “Initially you do get bloodless water shock, but you acclimatise your frame to it, you simply get on with it.” “I in reality pass very purple myself. Afterwards, I try and get dry as fast as viable. There’s a chunk of madness approximately it, but it’s desirable fun and its a good revel in.” “We’re now not the best swimmers within the international, however to represent your u . S . Is a very proud issue so as to do,” he provides.