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  1. ITV Report

Over 500 compete in Coniston Chill Swim

The final wave enters Coniston. They're the fastest swimmers. Photo: ITV News Border

520 people entered the Coniston Chill Swim this year. Last year, the first year of the event, saw 220 compete.

"We had to close the event because we actually had our capacity for this year. So I think that just shows that open water swimming is now one of the fastest growing sports in the country but not only that I think the Lake District is the best place in the world for open water swimming."

– Colin Hill, Chill Swim
520 swimmers entered the 2014 Coniston Chill Swim Credit: ITV News Border

The race takes in the length of Coniston: 5.25miles.

The fastest are in the water for 2 hours. The slowest take 5 and a half hours to complete it. The average swimmer does it in 3 and a half hours.

The first swimmer is seen by the spectators Credit: ITV News Border

"Today I think we've had a beautiful day for swimming. It's perfect. Very, very calm. I always expect the Lake District to be choppy and wild and windy and it was like glass setting off. Beautiful swim. You sort of do the fist couple of k(ilometers) and then cut through between the island and the shore."

– Dion Harrison, Chill Swim 2014 Winner
The race is over the length of Coniston: 5.25 miles Credit: ITV News Border

It's a long distance swim and a quarter do it without a wet suit. The temperature in there is 17.3 degrees Celsius.

There are feed stations along the way to refuel over the long distance Credit: ITV News Border

"I'd swum about 5km when I was training so this was the longest I've ever swum so I was just pleased to be able to finish it."

– Faye Woolerton, Swimmer orginally from Kendal but now living in London

"It's just been amazing to see my daughter and also to relive some family memories and I've just had a lovely walk on the east side of the lake."

– Alison Woolerton, Faye's mum, a spectator
It's the 2nd Coniston Chill Swim Credit: ITV News Border

Many arrive having never swum this far before. They'll leave Cumbria knowing they can.

The first wave of swimmers arrives at the finish Credit: ITV News Border