Ger Kennedy Achieves Ice Sevens

Courtesy of Ger Kennedy, Portillo, Chile.

Ger Kennedy knew his last Ice Mile was going to be difficult – but he was physically, psychologically, logistically and emotionally prepared for the challenge.

His ultimate goal was to become the first man and second person after Jaimie Monahan to achieve the Ice Sevens, but he chose a particularly difficult venue to do so. The sea-level-living Dubliner swam a high-altitude Ice Mile at 2,880 meters (9,500 feet) in the lake in Portillo, a ski resort located high in Chile’s Andes mountains in the Valparaíso Region. “For me, this is the next level in Ice Swimming – at altitude.

It was the last chapter in my Ice Sevens journey and one of the most difficult due to the altitude and 10°C water temperature difference from Ireland. There was only 71% of the oxygen available at sea level, but I had five days to acclimatize for the Altitude Ice Mile. The recovery included a difficult walk out up rocky path to ski chalet with assistance.

Over the five days of training at the Ski Portillo, the water temp ranged from 2°C to 4°C with the air temp ranging from -10°C to +9°C. I swam a total of 4.3 km over the five days, swimming a total of 1 hour 28 minutes. It has been a 7-year journey in the Ice to get here, to achieve my 12th official International Ice Swimming Association-ratified Ice Mile.

I want to give a massive thank you to my second Ger Devin, my support crew including timekeepers Jorge Villalobos, Paulina Alvarez, and Bárbara Hernández Huerta, Doctor Nicolás Bunster, wife Alice Kelliher and my family.

Kennedy’s Altitude Ice Mile completed his Ice Sevens journey:

Ger Kennedy Ice Sevens:
1st Ice Mile in Europe in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland on 24 February 2013, 1 mile in 3.3°C water in 40 minutes in a freshwater glacier lake
2nd Ice Mile in Mikkelvik Brygge, Karlsøy, Norway (Polar Ice Mile) on 6 March 2017, 1 mile in 2.5°C in 34 minutes 5 seconds in a sea water Norwegian fjord
3rd Ice Mile Zero in Asia in Tyumen, Siberia, Russia on 9 December 2017, 2 km in 0.5°C in 43 minutes 10 seconds in a 25m 3-lane ice pool called the lake of champions
4th Ice Mile in Africa in Lake Ouiouane, Mid-Atlas mountains of Morocco on 6 January 2018, 1 mile in 3.7°C in 37 minutes 10 seconds in a high altitude lake at 1630 meters
5th Ice Mile in North America at M Street Beach, Boston, USA on 22 February 2018, 1 mile in 4.7°C in 32 minutes 15 seconds in the open sea
6th Ice Mile in Oceania in the Thredbo Reservoir, NSW Australia on 1 June 2019, 1 mile in 2.8°C in 38 minutes 2 seconds in a high altitude fresh water lake at 1440 meters
7th Ice Mile in South America in Portillo, Chile on 13 October 2019, 1 mile in a high-altitude freshwater glacier lake at 2,880 meters

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