TV presenter to join 600 swimmers at Red Bull Neptune Steps race at Maryhill Locks

By Ian Marland at

TV presenter and adventurer Steve Backshall will be among those taking part in this year’s Red Bull Neptune Steps event.

The world’s toughest open water adventure race returns this Saturday (March 10) to Glasgow’s Forth & Clyde Canal for the fourth consecutive year.

More than 600 competitors will line up to swim, climb and conquer the ultimate open-water endurance test.

Neptune Steps

Adventurer: Backshall the naturalist, writer and television presenter

The event sees the toughest open-water swimmers moving through 420m of cold water, climbing 18m over seven canal lock gates.

All will be pushed to their limits in a true test of speed, strength, and resolve in an adventure race like no other.

The race starts with a 190m swim, before the athletes tackle a 4m-high lock climb, using a cargo net to haul themselves into the next section.

The following lock offers no respite, with a slippery wooden ladder the only tool the swimmers have to climb to the second half of the race.

The final challenge is a 3m high climbing wall which will bring them into the finishing straight.

Amongst the competitors taking part will be presenter Backshall, Olympic Bronze Medalist Cassandra Patten, and Olympian Gordon Benson.

Neptune Steps

Gordon Benson performs at Red Bull Neptune Steps in Glasgow on March 18, 2017. Photo credit: Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool

Gordon Benson said: “I’m really excited to be back for this year’s Neptune Steps challenge following on from last year’s event.

“I’m looking forward to challenging myself with the combination of swimming and climbing, combined with the cold canal water – I think it will be a real, fun test.”

Competing in heats throughout the day, the highest placed swimmers from each round will move onto the semi-final heat and eventually the final.

Red Bull Neptune Steps will take place this coming Saturday March 10 at Maryhill Locks in Glasgow.