My December Microadventure was by far the least glamorous. It was nearing the end of the year, and rather than walking to a nearby field or wood, I, for some reason chose to sleep in the back garden of my family home. I guess all great adventures start with your friend’s in your garden when you’re a child, where you spend hours putting up your Dad’s mould encrusted tent, filling it with duvets and eventually falling asleep to ghost stories and gurgles from bellyfulls of sugary snacks you’d spent the previous week hording.
This time I had no tent, no friend and no sweets. I could have just stayed in my bed, but where is the fun in that? My mattress was replaced with a couple of patio furniture pillows on top of a roll mat, my duvet was replaced with a sleeping bag, my tent with a bivvy bag. But, even though slightly mad, I was looking forward to it.
It was just before Christmas 2015, and I was applying for some product sponsorship to help with upcoming adventures, the thing is, I didn’t have an adventure planned. So, on a bit of a whim I decided my next challenge would be to swim the Thames River. The thought of it scared me, and I fancied doing something other than running for a change.
I thought I was pretty good at swimming, I mean, I could swim breast stroke, crawl and backstroke confidently. I had swam at a local level till I was about 12, but not much on a regular basis since then, other than holidays or the odd trip to the pool.
Turns out I’m not as good at swimming as I thought. I have been training for over a month now, between 2 to 5 times a week. Each Thursday I also attend the Cranleigh swimming club, where Kevin is helping me to improve my stroke. Since having the lessons I have learnt that I have a long way to go at improving my stroke before swimming the Thames.
Thames Swim 2016 is a personal challenge where I aim to swim 140 miles along the Thames river with the hope of raising £5000 for Helen & Douglas House and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Where, When, How?
Starting on Saturday 13th August, I will meander 140miles from Thames Head, at the river’s source near Trewsbury arriving at Putney Bridge / Central London on Saturday 27th August. Hopefully if all goes to plan I will be able to swim into central London. But, to swim any further than Putney bridge requires the Port of London Authorities permission (which apparently is notoriously hard to get).
The first 17 or so miles will be on foot till I get to Lechlade on Thames. From here I will start swimming/wading the in the River. From then on I aim to swim approximately 10 miles a day and complete the journey over a 2 week period. I purposely want to keep the daily distance as an approximation, and if I feel stronger I will swim longer, and if I am struggling I will swim less. So, the finish date is just approximate.