Liffey Swim: Participants set for ‘All-Ireland final for anyone with Speedos’

Hundreds race up river for first time in history on shortened course

101st  Liffey Swim takes place October 23rd, which is the latest date  that the  city swim has ever been held. Photograph: Jason Clarke

101st Liffey Swim takes place October 23rd, which is the latest date that the city swim has ever been held. Photograph: Jason Clarke

 

The “All-Ireland final for anyone with a pair of Speedos” will take place on the River Liffey from midday on Saturday with hundreds of people set to race up the river for the first time in the event’s history.

At the start of the month it looked like the 101st Liffey Swim would not take place for the second year in a row as a result of Covid-19 but just over two weeks ago the organisers were given the green light to run the event.

“We didn’t know if it would happen until just over two weeks ago,” organiser Brian Nolan said. “But ever since we were told it could happen, it has been helter skelter. There is just some much excitement around it, everyone is buzzing and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing for days.”

The swim traditionally takes place in August or September but because of the uncertainty it will be now taking place when the temperature of the Liffey will be no more than 14 degrees.

As a result the organisers have taken the decision to shorten the course from 2.2km to 1.6km and run it up the river and not from the Watling Street Bridge in the shadow of the Guinness Brewery.

While the race is going up steam, it has been timed to coincide with the tide coming in from Dublin Bay which means the swimmers will not have to race against the current.

“One of the reasons we changed direction and shortened the course was the water temperature but also at the short notice we couldn’t get the necessary application into the gardaí to close the bus lanes or the bridges from up towards the War Memorial Gardens,” Mr Collins said.

“But it is still a good swim,” he stressed. “You can’t just rock up and do the Liffey. For anyone with a pair of speedos this is our All-Ireland final,” he said.

The women’s race starts at midday and timings will be strictly enforced with anyone still swimming at 12.45 set to be taken out of the water by rescue teams for their own safety. The men’s race starts at 1.15pm with men given the same time in the water.