It was worth the wait!

At 09:15 on Saturday morning at DCLT’S Hatfield Outdoor Activity Centre  in Doncaster, Sam Farrow became the first swimmer to attempt an ice mile with us since Helen Smith’s swim  in February 2019.

The ice mile is undoubtedly one of the most extreme events of physical endurance. Swimming one mile in open water below 5ºC wearing just one costume or pair of trunks, one hat and one pair of goggles.

Preparation starts well before the day, and must include a thorough medical check and ECG with a qualifying swim.

On Saturday morning a thorough briefing starts the process, a safety boat with two qualified safety crew supporting each individual swimmer, monitoring stroke rate and other indicators to ensure the safety of the swimmer. On completion a recovery team looks after the swimmer’s welfare until they are rewarmed.

All of this is made possible by an amazing team of volunteers, with experienced people working alongside newer folk to ensure safety throughout. What makes this Saturday even more special is the delay, winter 2019/20 was odd, the weather was warm and the temperature of the water never dropped below the magical 5ºC. Then winter 2020/21 we were unable to offer any swimming due to covid restrictions. Safety and recovery would have been impossible. But Saturday 22nd January 2022 all was well!

The temperature was 4.5ºC , the swim your swim team were on hand, and an incredible nine swimmers were ready to take on the challenge. Six swimmers were successful, with the remaining three calling their swims at around the 1400m mark, still a phenomenal effort at that temperature. This is a massive achievement by the swimmers, but also by the SYS team who are heading towards supporting their 100th mile next weekend.

Huge congratulations to –

Sam Farrow 29m.12s

Stephen Gould 33m.05s

Kate Hartwright 41m.27s

William Rylance 35m23s

Melanie Tyrell 36m 27s

Derek Bissett 29m. 34s


It’s great to be back!


All ice miles are subject to ratification. Our thanks to Chris Hill for the write up.