Sidmouth runners swap the road for the pool
PUBLISHED: 15:33 11 October 2019
Eight Sidmouth Running Club members took part in the 2019 Swimathon challenge with their target being to smash the club’s previous year’s record number of lengths swum writes Hamish Spence.
The 2019 Swimathon was organised by the Sidmouth Rotary Club to raise funds for three worthwhile causes, Admiral Nurse, Sidmouth Lifeboat and the Gateway Homeless Action Group. It took place at the town's swimming pool where the participating teams had 55 minutes in which to swim as many lengths as possible.
Team Mighty Green 2019 were ready for the challenge, with all eight team members prepped with the knowledge that we needed to complete a certain number of lengths in that time, or face the walk of shame on Wednesday night, along with the wroth of King Terry should we fail! Sorry I'm getting carried away again.
We split up, with four team members at each end of the pool, all knowing that we didn't want to let each other down and that it was to be heads down and go for it. At 8pm, the start whistle sounded and we were off. Fifty five minutes to beat the previous years tally of 149 laps. This was never going to be an easy target to match, never mind beat!
Jon Bull had the honour of doing the first length and absolutely flew down the pool in just 23 seconds! Susan Reeve took lap two and then Sam Ingram took over for the third and absolutely stormed along. Sarah Watkins impressed herself as she took just 22 seconds to complete her first lap. Next up was Jasmine Reeves and then myself (Hamish Spence). I counted each time my right hand plunged into the water and got to 15. I was out of breath so didn't notice how fast Kate Johnson had taken off, but i was informed that she was like lightning. Kate handed over to Claire Ashby who attacked her first lap at high velocity and made this event look easy. We were relentless for the first half and pushed our way through an amazing 80 laps. Our diligent adjudicator Val Sharp, kept a very close watch on our team and occasionally let us know how many laps we had completed. This was an enormous boost to our team confidence, so a special thank you goes out to Val. The knowledge that we had completed so many came at exactly the right time as we were all beginning to feel the pain we were inflicting upon ourselves. Our response to this information however, was to give words of encouragement to each other. We kept up this crazy pace for the duration. Ten minutes to go and it was going to be down to the wire! Could we do it? With the last five minutes to go it was lap 147… 148 … and then we equalised with the 2018 MG team, lap 149 was done. Now the question was, how many laps could we extend the club record by? We continued, pushing ourselves as hard as we could and then the final whistle blew, it was done. The 2019 team had succeeded in its quest to trance previous attempts. We are very proud to have done 155 laps and really wish Team Leader Tony Velterop and next years team the best of luck.
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