Great Salford Swim
26th September 2010
There was bitter disappointment for all participants when this year's Great North Swim at Lake Windermere was cancelled at such short notice due to the presence of blue-green algae in the water. There is no doubt that the cancellation of this event hit many charities quite hard this year.
As an alternative I was fortunate enough to be able to enter the Great Salford Swim which was held a few weeks later at Salford Quays on 26th September 2010. This would mean that my year of training and my fundraising efforts would not go to waste and I would be able to achieve my goal of swimming one mile in open water whilst raising money for CRY.
2010 was the first year of the Great Salford Swim, a new event in the Great Swim series, and it was a privilege to be a part of what was a wonderful day.
Thankfully the weather was good, it was probably one of the better days we've had this September and it was perfect conditions for open water swimming (no blue-green algae in sight!).
The atmosphere at the event was fantastic with large crowds of supporters and spectators cheering on the swimmers throughout the day.
My race began at 1.00pm and I had a target finish time of 1 hour which I am pleased to say I smashed by finishing in 51 minutes 59 seconds. It was a great end to what has been a year of training hard and working towards comfortably swimming the one mile distance.
Next year I intend to enter both the Great North Swim and the Great Salford Swim. I loved the Salford venue and would like to swim there again and I would like to finish what I started by swimming in Windermere next year.
I have fallen in love with open water swimming and now that I have a time to beat I'm sure that will keep me motivated to train even harder for next year's events. I would recommend open water swimming to anyone. The emotions you experience when you're out in the elements are incredible and the sense of achievement you feel at the finish is amazing. It's so much better than swimming in a pool full of chlorine!
At the 11th hour a mystery donor who attended the recent CRY Test My Heart screening in Durham donated enough money to enable me to exceed my fundraising target of £400. So far I have raised over £400 for taking part in this event and my Virgin Money Giving page – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GreatCRYSwim – will be taking donations until 30th November 2010.
A big thank you to all of my sponsors and to my family and friends who have supported me whilst training for the event. I would be interested to hear from anyone who would like to take part in one of the Great Swims in 2011.