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The start of something extraordinary

Epic challenge draws in keen open water swimmer for sixth year

Heather Osborne has a strong passion for open water that keeps her coming back to the Epic Swim, now signed up for her sixth swim in 2015.

With a long list of open water accomplishments, Osborne says the Epic Swim is great training for upcoming endurance swims and “caters for everyone and anyone”.

Always keen for a challenge Osborne first swam the ‘Epic Epic’ distance (17.5km) for herself in 2011. After entering in the 10km in her first year at the Epic Swim she decided to add the 5km in the second year as a warm up for her 10km.

With a desire to get in some more training that year she also added the 2.5km swim.

Last year Osborne challenged herself further by creating her own ‘Epic 20’ adding the Masters Classic (2.5km) to her list of Epic Swim events to make it a total of 20km of swimming for the weekend.

She will be doing all four events (20km) again this year, calling it a “weekend training session”.

At the 2015 Epic Swim Osborne will be aiming to make it in with at least five minutes rest between the 10km and the 2.5km.

Some of her open water achievements include completing 20 crossings of Round the Mount and Rangitoto, in 2013 she swam 26km across Lake Zurich in Switzerland and a week later swam Henley to Marlow just out of London on the river Thames (14km).

In 2009 she was also part of an international female and male team who completed a triple crossing of Lake Taupo (123kms).

After competing in all the Epic Swims since its beginning, Osborne says the first one in 2010 is still her favourite.

“Finally someone had put together a swimming weekend with a challenge, like being at a swim camp for two days, and it was right here in New Zealand,” she said.

Her advice for first time Epic swimmers is to “swim how you have trained, don't get carried away in the start rush, and practice in a lake/ocean beforehand (especially if wearing a wetsuit), there are no black lines or walls to tumble-turn on in Lake Taupo.

“If doing the 10km you need more than just water to survive on, and make sure your head is in the right place.

“But most importantly, before your swim starts, count to 10, breathe then enjoy yourself.”