Heralding Heroes With Heather

Heralding Heroes With Heather

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ram Barkai, chairman of the International Ice Swimming Association, appeared on the Superhuman Showdown, a television documentary [see below] that investigates the world’s most extraordinary people whose abilities are far beyond those of ordinary humans. He ended up swimming 1200 meters in a 3-loop course in Norway and scared the show co-host Dr. Heather Berlin who had never seen the rewarming process of an ice swimmer.

Barkai recalled the situation, “I swallowed a thermometer to monitor my core body temperature. I was 36.4°C (97.5°F) before I started. Then I raised my body temperature to 38.0°C (100.4°F) through cold water thermogenesis before getting into the water in the fjord. Then it dropped to 35.4°C (95.7°F) during the swim. It was 33°C (91.4°F) when I finished and then dropped to 30.0°C (86°F) with the afterdrop during the rewarming process.”

It was abundantly clear on the special Cold Endurance episode on Shimmer that the 62-year-old South African, with 11 Ice Miles and 14 Ice Kilometers under his swim cap, has prepared himself to control his physiological and psychological reactions to extreme cold water.

But when the shower that they had prepared did not produce warm water, the co-hosts Dr. Berlin and exercise physiologist Professor Greg Whyte OBE, PhD, DSc, FBASES, FACSM immediately understood a major risk had presented itself. They drove frantically to find a means to help Barkai recover. They discussed the situation in detail on an upcoming episode of The ICE Series.

Ram Barkai’s Career Ice Miles:
1. 1.43 miles on 31 January 2009 in Lake Zurich, Switzerland in 4.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill, in 43 minutes 0 seconds
2. 1.0 mile on 17 July 2010 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 4.5°C water, 5.0°C wind chill in 33 minutes 0 seconds
3. 1.0 mile on 23 July 2011 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 5.0°C water, 10.0°C wind chill in 28 minutes 59 seconds
4. 1.0 mile on 4 January 2012 in Loch Faskally, Scotland in 2.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 28 minutes 3 seconds
5. 1.0 mile on 15 July 2012 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 1.70°C water, -5.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 33 seconds
6. 1.0 mile on 31 January 2013 in Lake Holborough, Kent, UK in 3.5°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 14 seconds
7. 1.0 mile on 23 March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 32 minutes 43 seconds
8. 1.03 miles on 31 December 2014 in Vltava River, Branik, Prague, Czech Republic in 4.6°C water, -2.0°C wind chill in 30 minutes 0 seconds
9. 1.0 mile on 31 December 2015 in the Eyjafjörður, Iceland in 4.63°C water, -15.0°C wind chill in 32 minutes 18 seconds
10. 1.0 mile on 12 June 2017 in Lake Baikal, Russia in 4.7°C water, 17.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 45 seconds
11. 1.03 miles on 22 June 2017 in Svalbard fjord, Arctic Sea in 4.61°C water, 0.3°C wind chill in 28 minutes 16 seconds

Ram Barkai’s Career Ice Kilometers:
1. On 11 January 2015 at 1st Aqua Sphere Ice Swimming Championships in Lake Wöhrsee, Burghausen, Germany in 17 minutes 20 seconds in 4.8°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
2. On 20 March 2015 at IISA 1st World Championships in Lake Semenovskoye, Murmansk, Russia in 16 minutes 39 seconds in 0.08°C water, -5.0°C wind chill
3. On 19 December 2015 in River Labe Czech Ice Swimming Championships in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic in 17 minutes 59 seconds in 4.7°C water, 7.0°C wind chill
4. On 10 January 2016 at Aqua Sphere Ice Swimming Championships in Burghausen, Germany 17 minutes 28 seconds in 3.9°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
5. On 23 January 2016 at Polish Championships in Katowice, Poland 16 minutes 55 seconds in 2.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
6. 30 January 2016 at International Ice Swimming Championships in Ireland Wild Water, Armagh in 16 minutes 53 seconds in 4.5°C water, -8.0°C wind chill
7. On 7 August 2016 at IISA SA 2016 Championships in Afriski resort, Lesotho in 25 minutes 48 seconds in 4.0°C minutes, 5.0°C wind chill
8. On 6 January 2017 in 2nd Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere Championships in Burghausen, Bavaria, Germany in 16 minutes 58.85 seconds in 3.4°C water, -11.1°C wind chill
9. On 11 February 2017 in Ice Cup & Great British Ice Swimming Championships in The Cruin, Loch Lomond, Scotland in 22 minutes 8 seconds in 4.2°C water, 0.9°C wind chill
10. On 8 June 2017 in the Baikal Mile in Lake Baikal, Russia in 18 minutes 58.43 seconds in 4.6°C water, 22.0°C wind chill
11. On 7 January 2018 in Ice Swimming German Open in Veitsbronn, Germany in 17 minutes 36.30 seconds in 3.8°C water, 6.0°C wind chill
12. On 25 February 2018 in IISA GB Championships in Hatfield Outdoor Activity Centre, Great Britain in 16 minutes 13.44 seconds in 3.6°C water, 1.1°C wind chill
13. On 23 November 2018 in Antarctica Ice Swimming in Port Lockroy, Antarctica in 18 minutes 47.22 seconds in -1.2°C water, -7.6°C wind chill
14. On 18 March 2019 in IISA 3rd World Championships in Lake Semenovskoye, Murmansk, Russia in 17 minutes 32.61 seconds in 0.2°C water, -6.3°C wind chill

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association