Courtesy of Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland.

Anne-Marie Ward said after her 8 hour 15 minute Tory Island to Magheroarty swim in 2003, “It was very tough, but at no stage did I feel I was going to quit.”

Over the last 15 years, Ward has developed into one of Ireland’s most prolific ice swimmers, channel swimmers, and marathon swimmers from her North West Donegal, Ireland home base.

Her long career is impressive.

She participated in the unprecedented Round Ireland Swim, a 1,335 km non-consecutive circumnavigation stage swim around Ireland in 2006, an English Channel in 20 hours 15 minutes in 2007 winning the Pierre Van Vooren Memorial Trophy for the best swim in arduous conditions as she finished the swim in a Force 5/6, was selected as the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, did an ice swim on New Year’s Day 2012, participated in the unprecedented 5-day 86 km Bering Strait Swim from Russia to Alaska in 2013, the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, completed a 500m swim in 0.3°C water temperatures and air temperatures between -30°C and -33°C in Tyumen, Siberia, Russia at the Russian Winter Swimming Championships.

She completed a crossing of the North Channel in 18 hours 59 minutes in 2010. Her journey began in 2008 when she swam 17 hours 30 minutes in 12°C water, but was taken out when the tidal flows became too great. In 2009, she swam 2 hours 30 minutes in the North Channel when the weather turned and the winds came up. Her escort pilot boat became separated from her and she had to be rescued after spending time on her own.

In August 2010, Ward swam for 5 hours in bloom after bloom of jellyfish until her joints seized up and she was unable to move her arms and legs. The toxins from the stings has seeped into her system leading to her hospitalization in the Belfast City Hospital. Despite this pain, she decided to try a fourth attempt.

In September, four weeks later, Ward started again and finally completed the channel crossing after 18 hours 59 minutes in 12°C water.

Based on these accomplishments, Ward was selected as an Honour Swimmer in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland in its Class of 2019.

Kieran Fitzgerald, a Class of 2018 Honoree, also announced the following five new Honorees in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland:

* Honour Contributor Stephen Millar, Administrator
* Honour Contributor Sandycove Island Swimmers, Organization
* Honour Swimmer Anne-Marie Ward
* Honour Swimmer Gráinne Moss (née Gunn)
* Honour Swimmer Ion Lazarenco Tiron
* Honour Swimmer Ned Denison

Ward and his fellow inductees will be honored at an awards ceremony in Belfast in February, 2019.

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