Couch to 5k Swim Programme 2019,
in association with Waterways Ireland
Written by Maureen McCoy
Photos by Paul McCambridge @ MAC Visual Media
The Couch to 5km Swim Programme is now in its third year and this season we started in mid-May for a 10 week programme of coaching and fitness training to develop swimmers skills, technique and endurance in preparation for a final distance event. The aim; to compete in the 5k at ILDSA’s Lough Erne Swim Event held on 27th July.
The early start caused a little trepidation as for many it was their first venture into open water this year – and for some the first time ever! But the mild spring weather meant the water was bearable at the beginning and soon warmed to pleasant temperatures.
Alongside a new group of outdoor swimming enthusiasts, 2019 saw the return of several swimmers from previous years; three of which were aiming for 10k as their final challenge distance!
After our first sessions at the Share Discovery Village we moved to explore several other venues on the Erne System and on our final swim of the programme we resurrected Year 1’s challenge; the circumnavigation of the scenic Devenish Island.
Blessed with a scorcher of a day the crowd of swimmers, escorted by kayakers, set off from Trory Jetty to round the island – quite a surprise to the passengers waiting for the ferry! Making their way past the rushes where a swan family peered out at the brightly coloured hats of these humans swimming by. The swimmers turned, following the island shoreline towards the tower of Devenish. As they crossed Friar’s Leap a returned to the lee of the island a new set of ferry passengers were greeted with the novel sight of a group of swim caps and tow-floats bobbing through the water towards them.
Three of the Ct5k swimmers opted for the slightly easier and shorter swim from Trory Jetty to Devenish jetty and back, a round trip of 1 mile. With a brief photo-stop ignoring the island no parking sign and then escorted by Damselflies on the return journey.
Christine happily swimming back from Devenish Jetty, Dragonflies/Damselflies hitching a lift… https://www.hep6.com/dragonfly-damselfly-symbolism-facts-meaning-totem-spirit-power-animal/
For some of the Ct5k this Devenish swim was the prefect way to conclude the programme. For others it gave them the confidence and belief in their ability to go for the 5k ILDSA event.
From the Ct5k programme, 3 swimmers completed the Ted Keenan mile, 12 completed the 5k and 2 completed the 10k – both winning their categories.
Pastry Masterpiece made by Johnnie Walker… Devenish Tower standing proud with swimmers ploughing around the island, the varied colours of hat showing the different distances they chose to complete and the finish line at the Lakeland Forum – the conclusion of 2019’s Couch to 5k Swim Programme!
Coaches Maureen McCoy, Kealan and Paul McCambridge from SWIMFREE Outdoor Swimming Association would like to thank WATERWAYS IRELAND as our title sponsor for all their support, the SHARE Discovery Village for providing a wonderful space to focus on technique and skills and the ILDSA for inviting Couch to 5k Swimmers.
Couch to 5k Swimmers Results;
Female Skins Male Skins
1st Caroline Ogle 1st Ray Smith
2nd Joanne O’Neill
3rd Bronagh Corrigan
Female Wetsuit Male Wetsuit
1st Anna Todd 1st Gareth Brady
2nd Donna McElhill
3rd Jenny Elliott-York
Bonus results for Ct5k Swimmers;
ILDSA 10k 1st Male Wetsuit Swimmer Lee York
1st Male Skins Swimmer Tim Fagan
ILDSA 5k 2nd Male Wetsuit Swimmer Gareth Brady
Well done all!
Is there any plans to run this couch to 5K in 2021?
We haven’t arranged any program (as yet) due to the uncertainty around Covid and venues opening up. We have been running a 2 week intro to open water in conjunction with Swim Ulster and Lurgan Masters and Open water Swimming Club. Ruth McQuillan is the person to contact regarding the shorter course
If you want we can keep your email and let you know if the Couch to 5K starts this year….fingers x’d