"This is reaaally cool!"
18-19 MARCH 2017 Glasgow
Red Bull Neptune Steps returned to Glasgow on Saturday March 18 2017. The open-water swimming event challenged elite endurance athletes in an adventure race like no other, swimming through 420m of cold water, climbing 18m over seven canal lock gates, and pushing participants to their limits in a true test of speed, strength, and resolve.
Watch the best action from Red Bull Neptune Steps
© Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool
Relive the highs from the tough open-water obstacle competition.
Red Bull Neptune Steps took place for the third year in Glasgow's Maryhill Locks on March 18 2017. Full of excitement – and exhaustion – the event is one of the highlights of the Red Bull calendar. A handful of our Red Bull athletes even showed up, with Gordon Benson, Andrew Cotton and Con Doherty making an appearance.
Taking part in Neptune Steps? Check out these top tips from one of the country's best sports coaches.
He's helped David Walliams swim the Thames and the English Channel, Davina McCall to complete a 506 mile ultra-triathlon, and Eddie Izzard to run a remarkable 43 marathons in 50 days. Now former Olympian and sports scientist Professor Greg Whyte can help you complete Red Bull Neptune Steps. Don't take the plunge into the Maryhill Locks before you've read his top advice. Take it away Greg…
1. Don't panic
Pick your line© Ian Macnicol
If this is the first time you've done a mass participation start the tendency is to panic and then it will be a downhill cascade from there. If you're more inexperienced pick a line, stay on the outside, find some clear water and swim your own race.
2. Don't go out too fast or too hard
Don't go out too hard© Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool
Even though it's only 420m of swimming you also have to think that actually you’ll be climbing cargo nets, it's a cold environment and it's a high-intensity swim. All of those things will make this tough anyway. If you go out too hard you'll blow up early.
3. Use the acclimatisation time
Yes, it's cold. Get used to it© Olaf Pignatoro/Red Bull Content Pool
It is properly cold in there so get ready! You will get a cold shock response, which can be a bit of a problem as it can lead to hyperventilation in some people. My advice would be to use the acclimatisation time you get before the start of the race. Don't stand on the side and think ‘I won't get in because it's too cold.’ Make sure you do. This way you'll dampen that cold shock response. Get in early and make use of the time.
4. Get warm before and after
Make sure you're warm© Leo Francis
Make sure you're well wrapped up before and after the race. You want your core temperature to be normal before you get into the water. You don't want to be cold getting in. When you get out of cold water you have this thing called the after drop. You stay warm during the swim but when you exit the water you'll notice a sudden drop in core body temperature. Many of the problems occur when you get out of the water, not when you're in there. They key is to get your wetsuit off, get dry and wrap up as soon as possible after you get out.
5. Pace yourself
Pace yourself if you're in for the long haul© Olaf Pignatoro/Red Bull Content Pool
Taking part in Neptune Steps? Check out these top tips from one of the country's best swimming coaches. If you're looking for a good finish remember this is a three-heat race. If you want to progress to the semis or the final then you'll need to pace yourself across the day. Winning your heat is a great place to be but you only have to place to continue on. It's about thinking intelligently and not knackering yourself out early on.