Walrus Winter Open Water Swim Challenge

ByJoanne Murphy |

The Walrus Winter Challenge is back for 2021, a fun way to encourage and embrace open water  swimming throughout the Winter.  With a variety of Walrus levels to choose from there is a challenge for every level of swimmer.

Established by a group of friends in 2014 to promote all aspects of winter swimming from competitive to Social and Mental Health benefits. The Winter walruses have travelled the globe from the Arctic to Antarctica understanding Winter Swimming from its origins.

The Challenge runs from 1 November 2021 to 31 March 2022,  successful walruses will receive a digital certificate of completion and special embroidered cloth badge of honour for their robe or bag with your chosen Level. (fee inc p&p).

There is a Walrus group who meet each week in Dublin, however the challenge can be completed anywhere.


  1. Novice Walrus – swim 1000m “each” month and complete 7000m minimum total distance during the challenge period. Note Neoprene Allowed
  2. Beginner Walrus – swim 2000m “each” month and complete 15,000m minimum total distance during the challenge period.
  3. Competent Walrus – swim 3000m “each” month and complete 20,000m minimum total distance during the challenge period.
  4. Proficient Walrus – swim 5000m “each” month and complete 35,000m minimum total distance during the challenge period
  5. Expert Walrus – swim 10,000m “each” month and complete 60,000m minimum total distance during the challenge period
  6. Ice Walrus Under 7c TBC
  7. Extreme Walrus Under 5c TBC
  8. International Walrus Ireland TBC


  • The Novice Walrus can wear Neoprene, Suit/ Hat/ Gloves /Boots /Fins.
  • Challenges 2-5 must be swum in a standard swimsuit, swim cap and goggles, a  chin strap neoprene hat is allowed, however NO Gloves/Boots/Fins or Hoods can be worn as part of the challenge.
  • All swims must be completed outdoors; sea, rivers, lake and unheated lidos.
  • Swim Locations can be anywhere in Europe

For more information and to register for the Winter Swimming Challenge click HERE.

Personal Note: Having complete the novice winter challenge and close to 30k of swimming during the challenge period 2020/2021 I’m looking forward to improving the distance this year, can’t see me ditching the booties and gloves though.

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