Taunton jeweller Haydn Welch completes Ice Mile Swim... finally!

Haydn Welch was faced by a huge sheet of ice during the swim.

Haydn Welch was faced by a huge sheet of ice during the swim.

First published in Somerset

A 55-YEAR-OLD Taunton jeweller has become the fifth person from the UK to complete an Ice Mile Swim.

Extreme swimmer Haydn Welch went all the way to Slovenia last weekend, and on to the icy 3.5 degree water of Lake Bled, where he finished the swim in a time of 37 minutes.

He decided to go abroad after a false start in Lake Windemere where water temperatures were TOO WARM for the challenge to count.

After hearing of his disappointment, professional marathon swimmer and record-breaker Martin Brel invited Haydn to Slovenia.

Haydn said: “On the morning of the swim there was still a huge sheet of ice across the course of my mile.

“This made me very aware of why I had travelled so far.

“The water really was freezing. My hands and toes felt like blocks of ice. The first 1200 metres took 25 minutes, but the final 409 took half as long again as the cold robbed my ability to maintain an efficient stroke. It hurt, but I was determined to stay swimming.”

Haydn was swimming on behalf of CoppaFeel, a breast cancer awareness charity.

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