So May is here and the 2015/16 Winter River Challenge is now officially over. The challenge was to swim the length of the 10 longest rivers in the UK (Nene, Spey, Clyde, Tay, Ure/Ouse, Wye, Great Ouse, Trent, Thames, Severn) over a seven month period.
Regular readers of the blog will know that we were VERY far behind our target so in April we asked (well begged) the swimming community, family and friends to help and ‘donate’ one swim to us during April to help us meet the target.
Thank you to all of the following people who donated the meters to us – we very much appreciate your help!
So how did we do in the end? Well we got sooooo close! We swam the length of the 9 of the longest rivers in the UK and we managed to get 94km down the UK’s longest river the Severn. In total we swam 2,087km out of a total distance of 2,347km. Of this 1,588km were swum by the core team and 499km were ‘donated’ by all of our lovely swimming friends and family.
To start with we were initial disappointed not to make the whole distance but then we took a step back and asked ourselves why we really did the challenge in the first place. There were two main reasons. Firstly, we wanted to have something to motivate ourselves to get off the sofa and go swimming on those cold, dark winters night. The challenge certainly helped with this. We were pretty much obsessed with meeting our weekly ‘target’ of 9,461m (this was the distance we each needed to swim every week to complete the full distance). This meant we had to swim two sets of 3km during the week and then a ‘long’ swim of 4km on the weekend. There were many swimming sessions we would have sacked off it if wasn’t for the challenge. As Manda kept on saying ‘those rivers will not swim themselves’.
The second reason was having something we could all do together at a team. Swimming is generally such a solo pursuit so it is nice to have something that you need to work with other people to achieve. So on that note, thank you to the core team Kate, Lisa, Hilary, Brian, David and Pivo for all their swimming over the last 7 months and a massive thank you to all of you who ‘donated’ your meters over the past month – we wouldn’t have got as far as we did without you.
The Winter River Challenge is at its heart a team challenge and a team victory but we do want to highlight some of the individual achievements during the challenge. The Winter River Challenge accolades therefore go to:
MOST METERS SWUM – Katie and Brian both swam a total of 293,375m each swimming one-eighth of the total required. Everyone managed to swim more than 100km over the seven month period which is not bad!
MOST METERS SWUM IN A SINGLE WEEK – the most meters swum in one week goes to Katie with 24,893, closely followed by David with 21,000 and Hilary 20,000.
MOST NUMBER OF WEEKS MEETING THE WEEKLY TARGET – Katie and Brian both hit the weekly target 17 weeks out of a total of 31 weeks
MOST DONATED METERS BY SINGLE PERSON – The most donated meters came from Mark Sheridan of Nemes Nutters with a huge 27,353m swam in one swim. Well done Mark!
MOST DONATED METERS BY A TEAM – DYST a Facebook community donated 97,596m but a massive shout out to RG Active, who despite being considerably smaller than the 13,000 strong DYST lot, managed a whopping 23,650m by 12 people.
MOST METERS SWUM WHILE PREGNANT – this award goes to Manda with a massive total of 223,114m swum while pregnant.
We hope everyone enjoys their summer of open water swimming. We will be writing about our adventures here on the blog and hope to see you at an event soon!