Athletes to attempt both 14km open water swim and full marathon this weekend

Brave athletes competing in last year’s Cold Half. (Open Water Asia)

This Saturday, 35 masochistic athletes will be attempting the third annual “Cold Half”, a 14 kilometre open water swim that stretches from Stanley to Middle Island in Deep Water Bay.

According to the organisers, swimming 14 kilometres is the equivalent of running more than 95 miles. Holy crap.

For those who simply can’t get enough of physical pain, there is also the “Cold Standard”, in which athletes attempt both the Cold Half, followed by the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon the next day.

The Cold Half route.

The grand total of people who have signed up for this challenge is exactly two. Godspeed.

Katrin Butcha, a German living in Guangzhou, said she’s trying the Cold Standard because she “might be a little crazy”.

Crazy indeed: apparently she only started doing any sports at all a year-and-a-half ago, as she was never allowed to do any physical activity as a child after she got hip surgery.

Joining Butcha is Harry Wright, who will try to swim 10 kilometres in under three hours and then run the marathon, also in under three hours. He already came close to joining the so-called “Sub 3 Squared” club last year, and we suspect he’s a (waterproof) robot.

The Cold Half is the winter counterpart to the “Clean Half”, an annual open water race when the temperatures are less glacial.

All proceeds from the Cold Half will go to the Ocean Recovery Alliance, a local charity focused on reducing plastic pollution in the sea.

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