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Kendal Mountain Festival Outdoor Swimming Session 2019 – Highlights and pictures

Last weekend, Outdoor Swimmer’s Jonathan Cowie and Ella Foote had the privilege of hosting the 2019 Kendal Mountain Festival Dryrobe Outdoor Swimming Session to a sell-out audience of over 300 people. We were thrilled to hear how much everyone enjoyed the event and how inspired people were to get out there and swim outdoors. One member of the audience was so inspired by what she heard, that she joined us after for her first ever wild swim in the brisk 7° waters of Windermere!

Here are a few highlights from what were a brilliant few days in the Lakes:

On Thursday, Joanne from the Outdoor Swimmer team travelled up to Ullswater for a swim with International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, Colin Hill.

Friday saw Jonathan join ice swimmer Gilly McArthur for a talk at the Kendal Mountain Festival Columbia Base Camp Stage. They discussed all things outdoor swimming and spoke about the benefits of swimming in cold water.

On Sunday morning, Jonathan and Ella did a fantastic job hosting the Outdoor Swimming session and we heard some truly inspirational talks from guest speakers Fenwick Ridley, Ben Dowman and Linsdey Cole.

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Fenwick Ridley kicked the session off, charming the audience with his Geordie accent. He talked about what it took to complete his 60-mile upstream swim of the North Tyne and showed us all a brilliant film that followed his journey.

Ben Dowman then took to the stage, telling us about his new swim-cycle event, the Frog Whitton. Ben was in the audience at last year’s Kendal Mountain Swimming Session and took inspiration for the event from Dan Duxbury film on the Frog Graham Round. Ben currently holds the record for the fastest (and only!) completion of the Frog Whitton, but he welcomes challengers. There are the also the titles of first female and first skins completion waiting to be claimed.

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Jonathan and Ella then hosted the annual Outdoor Swimmer Quiz of the Year, rewarding the audience with some amazing prizes for answering correctly what were some unexpectedly difficult questions!

Lindsey Cole then closed the session with a wonderfully heartening talk. She took us through her crazy Dipping Britain adventure and told us some hilarious tales and anecdotes as she travelled from the Shetlands, to the Scilly Isles, to Ireland, the Lakes and beyond.

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And as the weekend drew to a close, it was only fitting that the Outdoor Swimmer team & Co took to Windermere for a quick dip!

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.