Brecon mum Cath Pendleton's competing in the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk over the next few days.
She met up with her Team GB teammates at the start of the week in London - then flew out to Russia and says it's been a whirlwind few days.
"Eight of us travelled to St Petersburg, then we caught the next flight on to Murmansk. I'm really excited to be here - I feel really privileged to be part of the GB team - but at the same time I'm so super, super really nervous too. I'm calming my nerves by keeping in touch with everyone back home. I've spoken to my sponsors Source Insurance in Penarth to keep them up to date. They wished me the best of luck. I've been in touch with the team at Care after Combat. I'll be representing them when I got to Antarctica next year. My family and friends have been amazing too - helping keep me focused."
Cath's sending us diary updates from Team GB's base camp - click link to listen.
Team GB will today register for their events and check out the pool they'll be competing in. Cath's told us how they've been acclimatising: "We were taken to a dipping pool called the Walrus Club which was a frozen lake. Basically the dipping pool is about ten metres long. The water temperature was 0.1. It was actually freezing. I stayed in about ten , twelve minutes to acclimatise which really hurt but it was lovely. When I got out nobody else got in. About five minutes later a local lady got in and she actually had to break the ice. There was thin layer of ice that had already formed over the dipping pool. The air temperature was -9."
Before flying out to Russia, Cath had to use alternative methods at home to get the water right. She sat in ice baths in her garden during the cold snap and searched out local ponds.
#DailySwimmingFact: The International Ice Swimming Association World Championships and Arctic Cup begin in Murmansk, #Russia today. The pool will reportedly be 0°c, with weather temperatures between -11°c and 1°c ❄️— Swim England (@Swim_England) March 14, 2019
Find out more ➡️ https://t.co/7LiSdo6IY9 #SE150 pic.twitter.com/QrkLNgSMwg
Here are a few facts about the World Ice Swimming competition.
*A 25 metre swimming pool has been cut into a frozen lake.
*A total of 400 swimmers from 32 different countries are taking part.
*Swimmers are only allowed to wear their normal swimwear, goggles and caps
*The championships are on from the 14-18 of March
Cath's always looking for a new challenge - so once Murmansk is out the way she'll be focusing on her next feat. She plans to travel to take part in an Irish led expedition to Antarctica to swim in the icy waters in 2020.
It's part of an initiative which aims to make a difference by raising awareness for Lewis Pugh's Antarctica 2020 campaign to have two sea areas designated as Marine protection areas.
Cath is also an ambassador for Care after Combat and will be representing the charity whilst out there.
GB swimmers competing at the IISA World Championships and Arctic Cup
- Alistair Bell
- Hedi Brice
- Jonathan Coe
- Rory Fitzgerald
- Mark Guest
- Colin Hill
- James Leitch
- John Myatt
- Cath Pendleton
- Jade Perry
- Warren Phelps
- Caroline Saxon
- Andrea Startin
- Kate Steels
- Jonty Warneken
- Debbie Wayman
- Karen Weir