2. The Ice Mile

The Ice Mile

The Ice Mile is described by The Guardian newspaper as 'the toughest swimming test on the planet' and few who have been brave enough to take on the challenge would doubt this.   Click here for link to Guardian article


The Ice Mile is a personal challenge for an experienced Ice Swimmer and involves swimming one mile ( 1609 metres ) in water temperature of 5 degrees or less with just a swimming costume, one normal silicone swimming hat and goggles ( nose clips and ear plugs are also allowed ).


For most swimmers this will mean being in the water for between 25 and 45 minutes in an extreme enviroment where hypothermia is a real risk. For the swimmer's safety IISA insists on an observed qualifying swim being successfully completed before an Ice Mile is attempted and also the swimmer must undertake a medical examination including ECG.


To be approved as an official IISA Ice Mile the swimmer needs to provide documented evidence of the swim including specified video and photographic evidence and the swim must be observed by two IISA members. When an Ice Mile has been approved by IISA it appears in  a log on the swimmer's bio information page on the IISA website.


Full details of the requirements for an Ice Mile can be found on the IISA website here IISA Rules but the salient points are - 

- The swimmer must document a qualifying swim on their IISA bio page before attempting an Ice Mile

- The swimmer must swim one mile in just a swimming costume and a single silicone or latex hat. Goggles, ear plugs and noseclips are allowed but the goggles must not cover the nose. Tow floats are allowed but the swimmer must not use them for assistance.

- The water temperature must be measured by three water submerged digital thermometers to at least one decimal place and each thermometer must read 5 degrees or less. You may NOT use a watch or similar device to measure the temperature.

- The swimmer must have undertaken a medical examination including ECG within 6 months prior to the swim and this info must be recorded on the swimmers' IISA bio page.

- A swimmer may be assisted into and out of the water but the entire one mile swim must be unaided and unassisted.

- Two witnesses who must be IISA members ( either cool, cold or ICE ) must verify the swim.

- To verify the swim IISA will require details of ....

The readings of each of the 3 thermometers reading at 5.0C or lower.

Swim Distance 

Wind speed at the time of the attempt. 

Air temperature. 

Details of location  

Original photographs of the following, taken at the time of the Swim attempt:

entry into the water.

exit from the water. 

the three thermometer readings. 

the swimming course. 

location and surroundings.

At least a 30 seconds video clip of the Swim attempt to include:  entry to the water;  mid swim;  finish and exiting the water. 

-  Proof of payment of the application fees must be sent with the verification application. $100 for a first Ice Mile and $50 for subsequent Ice Miles.