In 7 days I will be attempting the toughest challenge of my life, with the exception of sitting through an episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. I can’t believe how fast the month of May is going. Life has been very busy over the last 6 weeks. The planning and preparation for an adventure like this, is both time consuming and tiring, but thoroughly enjoyable. I have maps and check lists coming out my ears, and I am officially amazons number one customer.

Visiting the “Noose”:

Last weekend, I decided to go up to the beginning of the “Noose” section of the River to see what it looks like. It’s the section that I have heard the most about. The water was moving very fast, and there were so many trees flowing down the river (no exaggeration!). I took a few pictures of this, and you can see from one of the pictures, just the extent of what this river spits out at this section. Magic place though. I could have sat on the riverbank for hours, just listening to the emptiness and the sound of the water moving. There is no one around, with no development nearby.

  • Ross O' Sullivan - River Severn Swim
    Map View

Testing the Potion:

The potion that I made for the swim, is now finished brewing after two weeks. This drink is made up of some ridiculous ingredients, but will be vital in helping to kill anything bad that enters my system during the swim. I decided to ask Caitriona, would she taste the potion first, as I film her (hehehe). Caitriona’s reaction is priceless, and sums up the content of this recipe (very spicy!!!). Thanks Kev Brady for passing this recipe onto me, and thanks to Jamie Richards who designed it.


Training is going very well, and I will be reducing the training over the final week before the start date. I do have a 10 mile swim panned for both Saturday and Sunday in the River Severn at the Red Lion in Wainlodes (just up past Gloucester). These will be the last tough swims before the start date.

Start Date:

The start date is next Wednesday the 1st of June. I will be dropped off about an hours walk from the source on Wednesday morning at about 9am, and will be left all alone, with no support. My land support vehicle will be driving back to Cardiff and will not be with me until Saturday the 4th at Pool Quay, due to prior commitments. Pool Quay is where we will actually start swimming. This is roughly 70-80km walk from the source, so I will have to cover this distance on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I will have a small bag on my back, with only my phone, charger, water bottles and food. Below is the itinerary as it currently stands.

Ross O' Sullivan - River Severn Itinerary

Love Your Magnificent Severn:

Shropshire Wildlife Thrust are setting off on there “Love your Magnificent Severn” event, on the same day as myself (1st of June). There event consists of a team of 14 people, and they will walk , cycle and paddle from the source of the River Severn to Gloucester Docks. There main aim is to raise awareness and improve understanding of all aspects of the River Severn’s natural and historical heritage. They will be providing events for people to participate in as they travel down the river. It will be a fantastic event, and I look forward to seeing them on the river over the first couple of days. Check out there page for more information on the event and the itinerary.

Finally, a lot of people lately have asked me why am I doing something this crazy. The reasons are as follows:

  • Undertake a Personal challenge
  • Raise money for MND association
  • Motivate others to undertake their own adventure and get in touch with the outdoors
  • Showcase the magnificent River Severn
  • Promote wild swimming

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If you would like to donate to Motor Neuron Disease Association, you can do so at:

River Severn Swim: 7 Days to Go