Big Chill Hits!..But Cath's Still Swimming!

Whilst most of us are cwtching up...South Wales mum Cath Pendleton is doing icy dips!!!

This is perfect weather for the swimmer who is training to take on another mammoth challenge.

On Tuesday the ex-RAF police woman decided to take the plunge at Keepers Pond, Blaenavon - the temperature was -2. Perfect!!!!

46-year-old Cath, from Sennybridge in Brecon, told us she has got a place in  the 1km swim at the World Championships in March.

She is the first Welsh woman to ever swim an ice mile.

Cath regularly takes part in outdoor swimming activities including swimming the English Channel from Dover to France last year.

She completed the challenge in 16h 45mins - wearing just a bather, goggles and a silcone hat.

Cath had no break from the water, with crew travelling alongside her by boat feeding her snacks and drinks in intervals along the way.

Now her next goal for 2020 is to do an ice km (or perhaps even a mile) in Antarctica.

The International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) was formed in 2009 with the Ice Mile considered the ultimate achievement of swimming in ice waters.

An Ice Mile is one mile in water of 5°C or less.

The swim must be unassisted and with one pair of goggles, cap and standard swimming costume.

Listen to Cath's interview with our reporter Emma Grant talking about the ice-swimmers upcoming challenges:


She told us anyone thinking about taking it up - shouldn't go into it lightly “It’s got to be treated properly.

"You can’t just go into freezing cold water without acclimatising.

"It’s better to start off in the summer when the water is warmer and you should swim for a minute per each degree.

“Sometimes you can get too much chlorine and get ‘ice cream head’. I once swam in water which was -6C and I had to break the ice with my feet.

“All the blood from your arms and legs goes to your core to keep your vital organs warm so it’s like swimming with heavy limbs.”

"I only use the word tropical"

Cath told us she has built up her ice-swimming over the years and now loves it.

"I have banned the words cold or freezing from my vocabulary, I only use the word tropical.

"To be honest, it can be dangerous getting into waters that temperature because of cold water shock, but I have trained my body for it.

"You get in, your body freezes and then you have to just relax and find your stroke.

"I am a little bit odd. I actually swim faster in cold water. I think it's because I love it and really enjoy the swim.

"When you get out and you are dressed and warm it is an absolute buzz.

"When I first started I was able to swim in 8°C for 12 minutes, whereas now I can swim in under 5°C for 35-40 minutes."


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