Two Icelandic women, Stefanía Halldórsdóttir and Kristín Ketilsdóttir, participated in a demanding swim last weekend, the fifth ‘International Limit Challenge Race of Crossing Yellow River Qinghai China’ in an altitude of 2.2 km (7,217 feet).
The water temperature was only 2°C (36°F). “The water was very cold and I wore gloves and socks in the test swim but decided to leave them on the day of the race. It helped my time but my fingers were practically frozen when I reached land,” Stefanía told RÚV.
Stefanía, who is 41 and participated for the first time, swam the 800 meters (1,968 feet) in 3.21 minutes and placed sixth among the nine contestants in her age category.
Kristín, who is 28 and participated for the third time, covered the distance in 3.00 minutes and placed seventh among the 13 contestants in her age category. Her best achievement is second place.
There were 58 contestants from China, Russia, Iceland, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Australia and Belarus.
Yellow River is China’s second longest river and the sixth longest in the world. The river is particularly voluminous and has strong currents. In Qinghai Province where the race took place the water flow is approximately three meters per second.