2018 Open Water Swim

It has just passed that date again, the date that now seems to be an annual event in my calendar. 2 years ago, to mark the occasion of my xxth birthday, I undertook to do a sponsored 1 mile open water swim in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

This was in memory of my Father who sadly passed away from this disease. It was to be a one-off occasion, or so I thought until my daughter Rachael stepped in. She and my husband came to watch and support me at Salford Quays when the event took part, and my daughter was so impressed, she decided that she would like to participate in one! So consequently the following year found me entering the Great swim at Victoria Docks in London with her, raising more funds for the Association.

This has inspired Rachael to try to get an extra member of the family to add to the list of participants each year. This year she roped in my husband Tony, who was a conscript rather than a volunteer!!

We decided to have a go at swimming in a lake this year so duly entered the Ullswater Epic Swim event at the beginning of June. I think this was a bad choice – have you any idea how cold the water was in May when we started our pre event training at the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Country Park near Ashington?!?

Then, after the practice session, as there were no changing facilities, we had to get changed in the car park, trying in vain to protect our modesty. We were shivering so much we couldn’t get the wet suits off!!

Full of trepidation we arrived at Ullswater on 3rd June but we were so lucky with the weather, and the water temperature was a lovely 19 degree, almost tropical the organisers informed us. Suffice it to say we finished the course, albeit at a much more leisurely pace than nearly all the others, that is the drawback with swimming breast stroke.

But we all made it, to be told by Rachael to drink full fat coca cola to kill off any bugs/germs we may have ingested from the water, just the encouragement we needed to do any more open water swimming!! Good luck with her quest to get more members of the family to join in.

Having said all of this I would recommend trying it, you get a great sense of achievement when you get to that finish line.

— Jacqui Hewison

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