Despite plunging temperatures and snowy weather still effective across Turkey, daring locals and expats are gearing up for the upcoming International Outdoor Winter Swimming Marathon scheduled to take place Feb. 25 in the Aegean coastal town of Datça.
Home to a high number of expats, Datça, which lies in Muğla province, is hosting the international tournament for the 11th time under the theme of "Datça Badem Çiçeği" (almond blossom). Roughly 450 amateur and professional swimmers have applied to participate in the tournament, some of whom are from Greece. The race is open to swimmers aged between 18 to 75.
The swimming race will kick off at Kumluk Beach, where swimmers will cover a 5-kilometer-long course from the beach to Fener Island. They will also compete over shorter distances, swimming a total of 1.5 kilometers from Kumluk Beach to Club Datça's Holiday Village.
Necati Sağır, a member of the local swimming committee, said they are expecting a higher participation rate in this year's competition.
Some local swimmers have already begun training for the upcoming marathon. The temperatures are expected to be between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius in Datça in February, mildly warmer than other parts of Turkey's. Outdoor swimming in cold weather will be more challenging for swimmers but the activity comes with health benefits like boosting the immune system, better blood circulation and a refreshed mind.
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