Sunday, 26 March 2017

Meet Mike Cochrane

Mike is well known for his epic swims such as crossing Lake Taupo in Feb 2016 where he swam 40.2km in 14.29 hrs and more recently circumnavigating Lake Taupo in Feb 2017 where he and Katrina swam 155km in 8 days.


During the 2014/2015 swim season Mike set a record of 307.8km over 68 swims and was referred to the Guinness people for inclusion in their annual picture book as reported on Oceanswims.com(http://www.oceanswims.com/swims/contests/tallies.html). He describes this as one of his biggest accomplishments, "beating the Aussies at a game they invented".  Currently he is ranked 26th Male Non-wetsuit swimmer in the Global Swim Series world rankings.

Not only does Mike swim for personal enjoyment but he does alot of exercise for charity too such as his recent 20km Chopper Challenge Swim from Waiheke Island to Auckland City to raise funds for Westpac Rescue Helicopter.  On the 25 - 26 March he will be walking his 10th Oxfam Trailwalker to raise funds for Oxfam (100km walk).

What does Mike do when he is not in the water or excising for charity? He sits at a desk doing IT stuff for Air New Zealand, tinkers with electronics or finds 3D printing solutions to problems that probably did not need solving.

Interestingly Mike only learned to swim "properly" at the age of 26. While at Uni he met a family who trained together and swam the Harbour Crossing every year.  This inspired him to give the HC a go and he started training with the family in a pool just enough to try it. He hired a wetsuit and made it across the harbour, just - first time in a wetsuit and first time in open water.  Anyone that knows Mike today knows he strongly dislikes wetsuits and events that make wearing one compulsory. However, he continued being a "runner" for a few more years before "being a swimmer" for the last 5 years.

So what are Mike's future goals? He is back to being a runner for awhile focusing on training for the Taupo Ultramarathon (100km) and the Half Ironman in December.

Mike is supported by a large community of swimmers around NZ and says they are the reason why he swims as much as he does.  They either swim with him or help make events possible by offering and sharing accommodation and splitting transport costs.  He says the more he encourages people to swim the more they actually encourage him to get up and go training.

Mike in his own words:
"I think humans have got a bit soft and forgotten what our body is really capable of. Anyone pushing the limits of what the human body is normally used for, in today's world, inspires me. I really enjoy partnering with swimmers taking on their first marathon swims. At some point there's a transformation that takes place when a challenge that most think is crazy turns into something that a person knows they are capable of completing. Sometimes that transformation happens in training before the swims starts, sometimes it happens during the swim. But by then end of it you're never the same person that started the process."

This is truly inspiring, Mike!  We wish you all the best!

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