The Great Glen is traditionally crossed by boot, boat or bike.

But Alina Warren is no walker, runner, boater or biker. No, she is a swimmer and will attempt the Great Glen Way, made up by 3 lochs (Loch NessLoch Oich and Loch Lochy) and a canal between.

However, she will attempt to swim the rivers connecting these three lakes because swimmers are not allowed in the canals. The rivers (River Oich, River Lochy and River Ness) are fast-flowing with a number of whitewater rapids.

The cumulative distance of her course across the rivers and lochs add up to a distance between 110-120 km.

Daily News: What open water swims have you done?
Warren: All 18 lochs in the Trossachs – my longest of those ones being in Loch katrine and Loch lomond, Scotland. Ive done 2 distance swims in the river severn (all resulting is sickness bugs after!) Ive swam round the coast of Aberystwyth (most open water training sessions are here now), Llyn Celyn 4 times (a favourite swimming site), and Lake Vyrnwy.

Daily News: What drives you to do such a swim?
Warren: I guess the personell challenge, I love the feeling of standing in the shallows of a lake, colder that I think I can handle, and thinking, I really dont know wether I can do this (either cause of distance or cold). And then the mental challenge of having to keep myself going, and then the feeling of getting out of that piece of water…and knowing that you did something that genuinly pushed your max out of you, then it just makes you want to do another, a little bit further! I guess its a little addictive!

Daily News: How old are you and where do you live and train?
Warren: I’m 19, Im at aberystwyth university in my first year so have just left home! I used to train with Dad, who took me to lakes and rivers on the weekend and on holidays, then train in the pool during the week, but now Im in Aber, I train in the sea, and do pool sessions with a good friend Alex, who used to be a swim coach, now takes part in distance swimming and the odd race. The pool I train in now is an endless pool, so its a lot better as I can get in for a 2/3 hrs and just swim, replicating the distance without having to turn! I alkso train in the gym in aberystwyth, doing some strength stuff, and trying to keep myslef strong and fit. Ive also been to train in cardiff international white water centre to help get a grip with the rapids! Training for white water was then transfered into river severn doing jackfield rapids, and river lochy, scotland to do torcastle rapids (the biggest fall on that river) and ‘the kitten’ (dont be fooled by the name!)

Daily News: Where is your start and anticipated finish?
Warren: Because of the wind blowing from the east, we will be starting at inverness, and finishing at fort william, except for the rivers, where we will be going from the top! Its all weather dependent, and fortunatly we have a great team of experience kayakers, and canoeinst, including a Dr, and have the help from RNLI and the coast guards who have already been a great help in the planning!

Daily News: What is the anticipated water temperature?
Warren: The team coming with me on this swim went up a few weeks ago and canoed the whole thing measuring water temp as the went. The concluded the temperature would range from below 9 degrees, and maybe 10/11 in the smaller lochs!

Daily News: Are the jellyfish, sharks or other natural dangers present?
Warren: The loch ness monster?! no jelly fish or sharks for this one, but natural dangers for us mostly include weil’s desease, blue green algae etc. Most obviously co0mes dangers from the rapids (grade 3), and the cold!

 

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


 

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