Lee Devlin Hill


Introduction: Ultra-endurance and extreme open water present a unique exercise environment that stresses both the physiological and psychological characteristics of a swimmer. In recent years, a number of studies have specifically focused on Northern Hemisphere races. The aim of this study to analyse the participation and performance trends of the Freedom Swim extreme open water swim from 2001-2018. Methods: A retrospective analysis of publicly available data was used to assess participation and performance. Results: Participation did not significantly increase over the period of interest in either gender. However, for every year there were significantly more men than women taking part. Mean finishing time was not significantly different between genders, however, in 2008, men were significantly faster but in 2010, women were significantly faster. Conclusion: the present study provides evidence that women's participation is open water sea swimming is significantly less than that of men, in accordance with previous research. Further, there was no significant difference in performance between men and women. These findings suggest that men and women achieve similar swimming performances in cold water long distance.


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swimming, cold water, endurance, performance, participation, gender

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