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Swimming High Up On The Tibetan Plateau

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Stay focused and you will achieve your goal,” so believes Pádraig Mallon and Milo McCourt.

The duo representing Ireland swam well on Day 1 of the International Extreme Race of Winter Swimming, 500m of technical swimming across the Yellow River in northwest China’s Qinghai Province.

High up at an altitude of 2,200 meters in Tibetan Plateau, the world’s highest altitude swimming race, it was cold and exhausting. The Tibetan Plateau (བོད་ས་མཐོ།) is so high up, it is sometimes called “the Roof of the World” or the “Third Pole” and is about five times the size of France) with tens of thousands of glaciers.

Mallon described the swim as requiring swimmers to go ‘perpendicular’. “70% of the swimmers fell short or overshot the target and finish line. All swimmers received oxygen after the race.”

Video coverage of the January 2015 event in 2°C water when 58 swimmers from China, Iceland, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Australia, Belarus and Russia completed across the Yellow River is here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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