8 September 2014

I swam the length of Coniston, all 5.25 miles of it!

On Saturday the 6th September I swam the length of Coniston Water, all 5.25 miles of it, for Invest in M.E.
I’m what you would call a ‘wellie’ but I have friends with M.E.  Over the past year, my eyes have been opened to what a debilitating illness it is. I read stories of individual challenges to raise funds, such as one persons walk to the garden gate. This inspired me greatly. When I set my swimming challenge, I decided that if courageous people with M.E could challenge themselves to raise funds, I could swim the length of the lake for them.  I’m not a particularly sporty person. By trade I’m a photographer  at Sarah Loveland Photography and this is only my second year of open water swimming. Last year when I started I wasn’t very good and I could only do half a length of the pool front crawl. I built that up to complete several one mile events. At the start of this year 5.25 miles seemed impossible but I was determined. Stubborn, determined and perhaps a little but crazy!

So last Saturday at 0835, I found myself at one end of Coniston, ready to start the swim. It was a big organised event with 500 people swimming.  There were safety kayaks and support boats in the water.  I was both nervous and excited.  At the start, the water was so calm, it looked like glass.  On the swim route there were a number of feed station boats that had water and various energy drinks, gels and jelly babies on board. The first one was at 1.5 miles and then they were at one mile intervals. I told myself that all I needed to do was swim from one boat to the next, and not think of it as one huge swim.

During the swim I thought about all the lovely messages of support I had received on my Just Giving page and in all the M.E Facebook groups. I have been blown away by all the support and encouragement. This made such a difference when I was in the water. 

I’m proud to say that I completed the swim in 4 hours and 19 minutes.  I felt a bit stunned when I got out of the water. I couldn't believe I had actually done it! It was a beautiful place to swim and an amazing thing to have done. Many people have shown their support and sponsored me. I am so grateful for this.  If you would like to sponsor me,  you still can. Sponsor me here!

I’m already thinking and planning an even bigger swim for Invest in M.E next year. I’m not going to tell you what it is just yet, not until the date has been confirmed. Once again, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has supported and sponsored me, I have appreciated it so much. It has made the world of difference.

 Thank you!

Sarah x
p.s. from the team at Let's do it for for ME! We would like say huge thanks to Sarah for her incredible efforts to raise awareness of myalgic encephalomyelitis and funds for Invest in ME charity, and how excited are we to hear that she is planning her next challenge for this amazing charity?!

THANK YOU Sarah and sponsors and everyone for your support!

Sponsor Sarah's Chill Swim on JustGiving

See Sarah's award winning photography and more at sarahloveland.com