‘IM­POS­SI­BLE’ CHAN­NEL SWIM

New Straits Times - - World -

in a year (eight).

But a quadru­ple at­tempt, set­ting off from south­ern Eng­land, is tak­ing ultra-marathon swim­ming to a whole new level, chal­leng­ing mind and body like never be­fore.

Her sup­port team is billing it as “the great­est en­durance chal­lenge on the planet”.

“When I com­pleted the triple, I was ut­terly ex­hausted, nau­seous and hy­pother­mic, with my swim­ming cos­tume hang­ing off me be­cause I’d burnt through so much body fat,” McCardel said yes­ter­day.

“Get­ting through all that, then turn­ing around to swim an­other cross­ing, will be ab­so­lute tor­ture but I’m de­ter­mined to do it.”

The swim is the equiv­a­lent of 2,720 laps of an Olympic pool, with the added chal­lenges of ex­tremely cold wa­ter, strong cur­rents, wind and weather.

De­spite this, McCardel is op­ti­mistic about her chances, and has been swim­ming 110 to 140km in train­ing a week.

This has in­cluded ex­tended swims in ocean wa­ter as cold as 8°C and 20-hour non-stop night swims in 15°C wa­ter, work­ing at the same in­ten­sity as any Olympic ath­lete dur­ing their peak train­ing.

“I am in the best shape of my ca­reer, in­jury-free and, I be­lieve, phys­i­cally and men­tally pre­pared,” she said.

“I’ve reached all my goals. Now, it’s about push­ing the bound­aries of the sport and the hu­man spirit.

“What can our body and mind achieve? Do we re­ally know our po­ten­tial? Maybe we can go fur­ther. I want to find out.

“If suc­cess­ful, this could dra­mat­i­cally al­ter the per­cep­tion of what the hu­man mind and body can achieve in such harsh, in­hos­pitable con­di­tions.” AFP

PIC AFP

Chloe McCardel, in Ha­vana, Cuba, is at­tempt­ing ‘the great­est en­durance chal­lenge on the planet’.

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