BRAVE Kate Steels-Fryatt is about to embark on the ultimate ice challenge.
The 45-year-old sets off for Russia tomorrow to take part in the first Ice Swimming World Championships.
Facing sub-zero temperatures, Kate will be one of 54 people to swim 1km in Semenovskoye’s Lake in Murmansk.
The contest has been set up by the International Ice Swimming Association and swimmers must face waters of 5C or under, unassisted, wearing only a pair of goggles, cap and standard swimming costume.
To prepare, determined Kate has been taking 10-minute baths in 125kg of ice, donated by cash and carry Makro.
Kate, from Aston Close, Bishop’s Waltham, said: ‘It’s going to be hard.
‘You go through these different waves of emotions when you are swimming in cold water.
‘There is a lot of mental determination – you want to do it and to succeed. I’m very happy to have a place on the UK team.’
She is one of three people from the UK to compete in the 1km race event on Thursday.
A 25m pool has been cut out of the frozen lake, which is in the Arctic Circle.
It’s going to be hard. You go through these different waves of emotions when you are swimming in cold waterKate Steels-Fryatt
Competitors will be seeded according to time and four swimmers will race per heat. If a swimmer’s time for 50m is longer than 80 seconds they will be pulled.
Kate hopes her experience of swimming a mile in water that was 3.9C in January has set in good stead for the race.
She swam 1,650m in just under 33 minutes, which was ratified under the International Ice Swimming Association rules, at Andark Lake at the top of the River Hamble.
Kate, who works for Hampshire County Council, said: ‘I will be telling myself that I have done an ice mile and this is not anywhere near as far.’
Kate hopes that one day ice swimming will be included as an Olympic sport.
She has also been fundrasing for Sea-Changers – a charity that raises vital funds for UK marine conservation projects
To make a donation go online at bit.ly/1x82oJ2