While plenty of athletes have taken on the challenge of swimming the 20-mile-wide Irish Sea, Lindsey Russell is most definitely the first to do it in a giant inflatable hamster wheel. The 25-year-old, encased in a contraption more commonly known as a "Zorb," undertook the journey in support of the biennial U.K. charity event Sport Relief.
“I’ve been training for months for what will be the biggest and best challenge of my life, but I don’t think anything can prepare me for what the Irish Sea has in store,” she told the Belfast Telegraph. “Something I do know is that I’ll give it everything I’ve got — I am so determined to make it to Scotland and I hope it inspires everyone watching to get up and get involved with Sport Relief this year.”
Former Olympic athlete and trainer Greg Whyte has been providing updates on Twitter of Russell's endeavor, and there have been some really beautiful moments.
And also some inflation issues...
...and yes, the U.K. weather and waves haven't offered much in the way of assistance.
In fact, she was forced to abandon the challenge about 8.5 hours into the roughly 14-hour journey because of worsening weather conditions.