Colleen Blair, MBE is a 40-year-old Scottish open water swimmer and the Regional Swimming Development Manager – Highlands, Islands & Moray for Scottish Swimming who serves as a Marathon Swimming Mentor.
Open Water Swimming Career
- On 20 July 1996, she crossed 27.8 km from Clare to Newport in 8 hours 26 minutes 50 seconds.
- On 23 August 1997, she crossed 36.2 km Loch Ness in 14 hours 32 minutes 7 seconds.
- On 20 July 1997, she completed the 21-mile (33.7 km) BLDSA 2 Way Windermere Championship (2WW) in 12 hours 26 minutes 27 seconds.
- On 18 July 1998, she swam 22.5 km across Loch Tay in 9 hours 30 seconds.
- On 16 August 1998, she crossed 33.8 km from England to France across the English Channel in 13 hours 55 minutes when she won the Channel Swimming Association's 1998 Award for its Youngest Successful Swimmer.
- On 23 June 2001, she completed the 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 8 hours 51 minutes 23 seconds.
- In 2006, she completed the 66 km Round Jersey solo in 10 hours 10 minutes.
- On 12 September 2008, she completed a 35 km crossing of the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 15 hours 23 minutes 59 seconds at the age of 30.
- In 2009, she swam 22.5 km from Jersey to France in 12 hours 27 minutes.
- On 11 July 2011, she completed the 12.1 km Pentland Firth in 4 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds, the first person in history for which she was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
- On 2 October 2014, she swam 32.3 km across the Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the California mainland in 11 hours 40 minutes 25 seconds.
- On 6 May 2015, she swam 13.3 km across the Saguaro Lake in the SCAR Swim Challenge in 4 hours 31 minutes 11 seconds.
- On 7 May 2015, she swam 14.1 km across Canyon Lake in the SCAR Swim Challenge in 4 hours 31 minutes 22 seconds.
- On 8 May 2015, she swam 22.8 km across Apache Lake in the SCAR Swim Challenge in 10 hours 16 minutes 13 seconds.
- On 9 May 2015, she swam 9 km across Roosevelt Lake in the SCAR Swim Challenge in 3 hours 57 minutes 45 seconds.
- She participated in the 2015 Ireland Ice Swimming Championships 1 km race in Conroy Pond, Northern Ireland in 3.1°C water where she finished second.
- She has completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
- She completed the Frosted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming on 7 February 2015.
- She gave a presentation on the The History of Scottish Swimming at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference.
- She was a member of Chilly McFillies Loch Lomond 2 way relay, a 80 km charity swim to benefit Cancer Research UK together with Chris Sifleet of England, Jackie Eccleston of Wales, and Judith Campbell of Ireland.
- She was a member of the ChillyMcFillies two-way crossing of Loch Lomond in Scotland with Judith Campbell, Carol Lord, and Jackie Ecclestone on 30 August 2017 in 30 hours 39 minutes 45 seconds under the auspices of the British Long Distance Swimming Association.
- Between 25-28 April 2018, she completed all four stage swims of the SCAR Swim Challenge in Arizona (9.5-mile or 15.2 km Saguaro Lake + 9-mile or 14.4 km Canyon Lake + 17-mile or 27.3 km Apache Lake + 6.2-mile or 10 km Roosevelt Lake), finishing 25th overall at the age of 40 in a cumulative time of 20 hours 47 minutes 28.9 seconds.
- On 8 July 2018, she pioneered the 24 nautical mile crossing of the North Minch from Isle of Lewis to the Scottish mainland in 9-13.8°C water, a crossing governed by the British Long Distance Swimming Association in 18 hours 46 minutes. For her achievement, she was awarded with the MSF Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Marathon Swim of 2018.
- She was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women in 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.
- She is a member of the Cold Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
"The Pentland Firth was a tough swim but it felt great to complete a challenge that no one has completed before. I heavily relied on my support team to keep me on the right track as the tides are so strong and would like to say thanks to all three of them — Robert Smith, my dad Bill Blair and my sister Shannon Davies."
North Channel Crossing
On 12 September 2008, Blair departed Northern Ireland and successfully crossed the North Channel arriving in Scotland 15 hours and 23 minutes later, escorted by Brian Meharg. She was the first person to swim from County Antrim to Scotland.
World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
Ireland Ice Swimming Championships
Marathon Swim Stories
- Shannon House Keegan Talks Marathon Swimming Stories
- Ned Denison Explains About Marathon Swimming Mentors on WOWSA Live
- Jim Loreto Does Frosted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
- Conroy Pond, Fast Winter Water
- Crossing The Sea
- Mission Impossible
- The History Of The North Channel - Between Scotland And Ireland
- Nothing Can Compare In A Bold Step Forward
- The Admiral of The Channel
- Colleen Blair To Kick-Off Global Open Water Conference
- 2001 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim
- 1998 English Channel Swim
- 2014 Catalina Channel Swim
- Colleen Blair Is Scotland's First Triple Crowner
- No Neoprene Across The Minch
- Colleen's Rock Commemorates Blair's Crossing
- British Long Distance Swimming Association
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- A Short List of Marathon Swims
- Open Water Swimming
- British Long Distance Swimming Association
- List Of Marathon Swims Around The World
- Marathon Swimming
- 2WW Swimmers In History
- Chilly McFillies Loch Lomond 2 Way Relay Is A Go
- SCAR Swim Challenge
- Stefan Reinke Outduels Serbo Simeoni On SCAR Day 1
- S.C.A.R. Is Like Night And Day
- Jamie Ann Phillips Forges Into Lead In Apache Lake
- Reinke Hangs On, Jamie Ann Phillips Swimming Strong
- As Night Falls, So Does Men's Record. Jamie Ann Phillips Leads Way With Stefan Reinke
- Colleen Blair Flying Solo Across North Minch
- 2019 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- Frosted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
- Swimmer crosses the Minch amid rescue drama
- Colleen Blair Honored With the MSF Yudovin Award
- Celebration Of Open Water Swimming In Kendal