World’s only uphill swimming race returns to Glasgow

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Maryhill Locks will host one of the toughest endurance tests on April as 200 swimmers are set to take on the challenge of swimming uphill.

The Red Bull Neptune Steps challenges endurance athletes to swim through 420 metres of cold water, climbing 18 meters over eight canal lock gates in a test of speed and strength.

Competitors perform at Red Bull Neptune Steps in Glasgow Picture: Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Competitors perform at Red Bull Neptune Steps in Glasgow Picture: Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

The event launched last year as the first fully supervised swimming event to take place in a Scottish canal. The lock’s will be fitted with a different obstacle to aid the swimmer’s progress, such as Cargo nets, ropes, wood ladders, rope ladders and a climbing wall.

Red Bull Neptune Steps will see some of the finest endurance and multi-sport athletes take part, including Irish triathlete Con Doherty, who has established himself as one of the world’s leading juniors following a string of medal winning performance at some of the sport’s biggest events.

Looking ahead to the event Con said: “I’m delighted to be able to compete in this event. It’s such a unique racing format and it looks ridiculously challenging. There’s nothing at all like it anywhere else!”.

Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

2015 Winners celebrate after Red Bull Neptune Steps in Glasgow Pciture: Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

2015 Winners celebrate after Red Bull Neptune Steps in Glasgow Pciture: Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Red Bull Neptune Steps back to Glasgow again and what better way to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design than by transforming a scheduled monument into the venue for a world-class, high-octane adventure race?

“Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits s year from cyclists, walkers, runners, boaters, paddlers and anglers around the world and are a major part of the nation’s leisure and tourism industry. By using them in new and exciting ways, they can create jobs, stimulate business and help drive regeneration across urban and rural areas.”

Entries For the Neptune Steps challenge opens March 1 at 10am.

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