IISA Marathon Ice Swim (“IISA MIS”)


The drive to explore the limits of Ice Swimming continues. IISA continues to support testing human limits but within its safety boundaries. As we approach new unexplored territories with unknown risks, we must stress that limits must be explored in a controlled and studied manner one step at a time. With the new drive to explore Distance Ice Swimming, IISA has decided to place new safety rules on distance swims, and it states categorically that it doesn’t encourage growth in such swims as a sport. Limits must be explored carefully with safety and planning in mind first! IISA will not sanction any swims, regardless of success, if safety measures have been grossly ignored or breached.


IISA MIS - Rules

A Marathon Ice Swim is defined as swimming 3km or long in the water of 5.0C or lower under IISA Rules and IISA Marathon swimming rules.

Additional safety measures required for the IISA Marathon Swim attempt:

  1. At least 7 days’ notice to IISA by email internationaliceswimming@gmail.com with details of the indented attempt.
  2. The swimmer will need to fill in the IISA marathon Ice Swimming attempt request form.
  3. IISA reserves the right to support the attempt or not. If the swimmer decides to attempt regardless, IISA will not ratify the attempt and reserves the right to take disciplinary action against the swimmer.
  4. Attempt plan:
    1.  Attempted distance
    2. Location
    3. Expected water temperature
    4. Distance Ice Swimming background
    5. Safety Plan
    6. Safety triggers in place:
      1. Behaviour
      2. Stroke count
      3. Pace
    7. Expected pace: start, end, average
    8. Swim termination pace – the pace that if reached, the swimmer will be pulled out.
    9. Expected swim Time
    10. Maximum increase from last successful Ice Swim is 1000m.
    11. Blood test – see specifications below [this may change over time]
    12. Stress ECG not longer than 7 days before the attempt
  5. The swimmer must have a visible distance counter for at least every 500m.
  6. After 3km an observer must present a sign to the swimmer requesting a thumbs up as a sign of I’m ok” that will continue for every 500m onwards.
  7. The observer reserves the right to request a thumb-up response at any time and if the swimmer doesn’t respond – he/she has the right to terminate the attempt.
  8. A Doctor must be onsite at all times observing the swimmer from start to end of recovery.
  9. The doctor must have seen the IISA Medical, ECG and blood test before the swim
  10. A signed indemnity must be presented to the observer. The Observer must attach it to his report.
  11. Split times takes must be taken:
    1. In a pool – every 50m
    2. In open water every 250m. Or loops if there are any.
  12. IISA has the right to appoint an observer for the attempt. If the observer can't attend physically, he/she must be able to observe on live stream [if possible].
  13. The entire attempt from access to the water to full recovery must be recorded in hi-resolution and submitted to IISA.
  14. Open water vs Pool
    1. See Pool definition in IISA rules.
    2. If the attempt is done in an open water course, the swimmer can’t be more than 25m from land access [pontoon or jetty] and must have at least two rescue individuals ready. They must wear a wetsuit or dry suit.
    3. A clear protocol on how to rescue the swimmer if required must be a place.
  15. The attempt must be no further than 5min from a nearby hospital or a sufficient medical facility and the medical facility must be notified of the attempt and ensure that the facility can deal with such an emergency. The facility must be notified at the attempt start and finish and end of recovery.
  16. Only one swimmer is allowed to be in the water at all times.

Blood test [in testing phase]

  1. Blood count
    1. complete blood count
  2. Hormone research
    1. TSH
    2. fT3
    3. fT4
    4. ferritin
    5. iron
    6. testosterone
    7. cortisol
  3. Study of hello, electrolyte micronutrients
    1. electrolytes (Na, K, CL)
    2. magnesium (Mg)
    3. zinc (Zn)
    4. vitamin D3
    5. vitamin B12
  4. Standard examination - kidneys, liver
    1. liver test (ALT, AST, GGTP, ALP, BIL Total)
    2. serum creatinine
    3. Creatine Kinase CK
    4. CRP proteins
    5. uric acid
    6. urine albumin
  5. Evaluation of fat metabolism
  6. fasting glucose
  7. lipid profile (CHOL, LDL, HDL, non-HDL, TG)


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