Camlough swimmer on World’s 50 Most Adventurous

May 18, 2015

An open water swimmer from Camlough has been named in the 2015 World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women list, compiled by the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). Highly accomplished long distance open water swimmer, Colleen Mallon is one of three Irish women who made the list this year, thanks to their achievements in long distance endurance swimming.

The WOWSA list focuses on women from around the globe who have carried out unprecedented swims of note or a significant number of risk-inherent channel, lake or marathon swims, women who have proven themselves in relays, competitions and solo swims, and women who have safely escorted or coached many swimmers of various abilities in rough waters, with an emphasis on women who have repeatedly swum in waters that are colder, rougher and longer than the English Channel.

28 year old Colleen became the first woman from Northern Ireland to swim the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland last summer, setting a new Irish record in the process and becoming the third fastest in the world to achieve the feat.  She is also one of only 19 people in the world to have ever successfully crossed the North Channel solo,  and one of  just seven females to do so.

Colleen is the youngest of the Mallon family, who are renowned swimmers and triathletes both locally and internationally.  Her brother Padraig captured the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award in January having achieved a remarkable double triumph last summer when he swam the North Channel before repeating the feat across the English Channel just six weeks later.  Her parents are also avid swimmers, with mum Bridgeen taking part in the Camlough Lake Water Festival every year, and dad Mickey a regular competitor in national Ironman competitions and triathlons.  An uncle, Milo McCourt, is highly respected throughout the local area for his work with the community in Camlough in training open water swimmers and helping to facilitate Camlough Lake’s growing number of swim competitions and festivals.

The Camlough woman’s inclusion on the WOWSA list is the latest recognition in a long line of achievements for this former triathlete who has successfully crossed over two sports and shown her depth of commitment and athletic talents in both.