INTREPID locals are preparing to set a new world record for the biggest group ice bath at Leighton Beach in North Fremantle.
To set the record, 250 people must simultaneously submerge up to their neck in 5oC ice baths for three minutes.
The attempt will use 3200 bags of ice and thirty inflatable 3m pools that will be pumped full of ocean water.
The carbon footprint will be offset by a donation to Greenfleet Australia and the plastic bags will be recycled.
The event is being organised by Mark Hughes, who runs ice bath classes at Freo Farmers Market for a gold coin donation and founded One Life Live It, offering personal coaching and ice bath training to combat stress and anxiety.
The record has never been attempted before, so Hughes has held meetings with The Guinness Book of Records to agree on the figures and a Guinness adjudicator will ratify the result.
The event will raise awareness and funds for Beyond Blue, a not-for-profit that supports Australians with their mental health.
Hughes says it’s an organisation close to his heart.
“I suffered debilitating anxiety and two separate bouts of depression in the past and while I managed to stay off prescription medication, the cold water and breathwork helped me tremendously; I have never slipped back,” he says.
“I also have a family friend who is struggling (and she’s only 17) and a number of clients too. I’d be surprised if most of us don’t know someone who is struggling with some level of depression or knows someone who is.
“The benefits of cold water immersion on physical and mental health are now very well documented with many recent scientific, peer-reviewed studies reporting these benefits in detail.”
Hughes hasn’t had a hot shower in half a decade and has been taking ice baths for more than six years.
“I use the ‘cold’ as one of a number of modalities to help clients shift ‘state’ to focus on making significant behavioural changes to overcome difficult issues they’re dealing with in life,” he says.
“The benefits are so profoundly positive, that it’s something I’d be encouraging everyone to consider as part of their physical and mental health routine.”
If you’re having second thoughts about taking part, don’t worry the event will be held in the height of summer on Saturday January 20.
“While the heat of summer clearly will be beneficial, we wanted to stage the event at a time of year when we felt we would get the most people to participate and come and support.
“The goal of the event is to raise as much awareness as possible for those suffering with anxiety and depression, so we felt mid-summer would be the perfect time.”
To donate or take part in the record breaking attempt at Leighton Beach go to the Events page on onelifeliveit.com.au, and to sponsor or become a volunteer email Hughes at email@example.com.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK