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B.C. ultra athlete creates Facebook group for frozen lake swimmers

Shanda Hill hates being cold but she just 'sucks it up and gets it done'

The weather may be warming up, but it's still far too cold for a lake swim — unless you're Vernon ultra athlete Shanda Hill.

Hill doesn't do anything in half measures — from her record-breaking Double Deca marathon performance to paddleboarding with goats.

During the depths of the recent cold snap, Hill and a few other hardy souls took the plunge in Kalamalka Lake, in a swimming hole carved into the ice.

She and her family also built an illuminated ice castle on the frozen lake with slabs of ice carved with a chainsaw.

"The easiest thing to do would be to hide under the covers and wait it out. Instead, we sucked it up and embraced the cold to create a weekend of lasting memories," Hill wrote on Facebook.

And, on Sunday, she posted an update.

"We were blessed today that the weather is starting to warm up," she wrote as the temp stood at a "balmy" -8 C.

Hill took to the chilly waters again, and says she's been working on her underwater glides.

She has even created a Facebook group for brave souls who also want to dive in. 

Hill started doing cold water therapy after breaking her tibia in 2014, to accelerate her recovery. Four weeks later, she was able to run a Kamloops 4K race.

Despite this she says: "I really hate being cold," but she just "sucks it up and gets it done."

Hill was the North Okanagan's athlete of the year in 2020.

She competes in ultra-endurance marathons, such as the Double Deca marathon in Mexico, in which she became the first Canadian — male or female — to complete the multi-day race that is the equivalent of 20 Ironman triathlons.