The Loch Lomond Extreme Endurance Swim 2023
The serene beauty of Loch Lomond, a freshwater loch nestled amidst Scotland’s rugged highlands, is a challenge to the bravest of swimmers. The 21.6 miles BLDSA-sanctioned Loch Lomond Extreme Endurance Swim is not a swim for the casual enthusiast. Swimmers face variable conditions, from unpredictable water temperatures to the ever-changing Scottish weather. The overnight journey has seen participants battling the loch anywhere between 9 to a staggering 26 hours.
The Loch Lomond swim’s has a rich legacy with only 75 individuals having completed it since Commander Gerry Forsburg first did in 1959. An anniversary relay in 2019 added a new chapter to this history, leading to the introduction of a relay event running alongside the traditional end-to-end challenge.
The 2023 finishers list include seasoned swimmers like Andrew Wells, marking his third successful finish, to international participants like Patti McMurdie, who journeyed from California and the Team Kingfishers Swimming Club.
2023 Finishers (from BLSDA Facebook)
Andrew Wells: This marks his third successful finish. He has completed all the BLDSA events he has entered this year. Time 15.29.22.
Andrea Ayres: Not only did she conquer Loch Lomond this year, but she also finished the 2023 Torbay swim. Time 15.43.25.
Steph Ramsay: A new member for 2023, , and her first long distance swim with the BLDSA. Time 11.54.34.
Patti McMurdie: Traveling all the way from California. Time 11.41.00.
Team Kingfishers Swimming Club: (11hrs 54mins 22 seconds) Jane Sedman, Colleen Blair, Maddy Adams, and Alicia Walls. Time 11.54.22.
The organizers mentioned:
Traditionally our swimmers all take part wearing only a costume or trunks, one hat and one pair of goggles, but from this year, we do now accept entries from wetsuit and non traditional costume swimmers. They are then recorded separately in our records. All swimmers are accompanied by an individual escort boat, and the skill of the crew plays a large part in the success of the swimmer. This year’s 100% successful swim involved over 40 people in, on or around the Loch.
The swim event is held biennially, with the next scheduled for August 2025. In alternating years, they host a two-way Windermere swim, which is set for August 2024 and covers 21 miles. If any swimmers are interested in either event, details and registration will be available on their website starting 1st November this year.
Photo credits: British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLSDA) Facebook