- 2008 event review
2008 event review
In Aid of Muscular Dystrophy
High Wycombe 50m Indoor Pool.
As this was the first, and we didn’t really know whether it would be the last, event of its kind.
After a legendry opening speech by a well known swimmer extraordinaire, Mr Graham Short, a countdown by 6yr old Joe Rush, entered the water for the first of 24 miles, starting every hour.
The next wave started half an hour later and we used two lanes of High Wycombe pool in this continuous pattern for the next ten hours. Gradually some swimmers started to be consumed by fatigue sickness, leaving them no option but to take their leave. Once the pool was closed to the general public however and the music was on, the lifeguards on duty really added to the event and their humour and obvious enjoyment was a joy to behold.
We were expecting the early hours of the morning to be the toughest and they were. You really had to forget that this was a usual sleep time and focus on the here and now.
Many of the swimmers also found the accumulation of chlorine a real barrier to continuing. There were many physical considerations that were showing up unexpectedly and we were not surprised at the difficulty but at the fit swimmers unable to overcome them.
The first three men to embark on their final mile, was something to photograph. Those swimmers actually looked fit and certainly happy…as were all the others who encouraged them on, regardless of their own physical state.
The one over-riding feature of the entire challenge was the team spirit that existed within the entire body of swimmers and supporters. Everyone pulled together to get as many through the challenge as possible.
We were very grateful to World Record Masters swimmer, Jane Asher, who not only presented the certificates to all the participants at the end of the challenge, but also swam 8 miles at the start of the event before dashing off to her Grandson’s 18th and returning to swim the last mile to boot; all at the fit age of 77 years young. She also was able to contribute a very respectable sponsorship through her swimming teaching donations. What a star!
In the end, 4 fantastic swimmers completed the 12 miles in 12 hours over night challenge – well done to those participants, 7 swimmers completed the 24 mile in 24 hour challenge and everyone of the 28 participants who started the event, was an individual success story as they all pushed themselves to their physical limit and culminated to raise a total of over £30,000.