A Brief Encounter with A Swimming Legend


About a month ago I went to the Adventure Travel Show and saw Sean Conway talk about his swim from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

I thought it was a perfect opportunity to ask for some advice for my upcoming Thames Swim, so after his talk I popped down to the front to say hello. I asked if I could ask him a few quick questions. He shook my hand and said of course. He was shorter than I thought and had a pixie like face with small features and glinting eyes, which were surrounded by a wild thicket of ginger hair and a huge bushy beard, he listened attentively as I told him my plans. His response was positive and encouraging, and his main bits of advice were to eat everything, improve my stroke & train lots and start cold water training immediately – as the Thames water is 13 degrees, 2 degrees colder than the channel, brilliant!

I thanked him for his time, shook his hand and walked back to my seat smiling to myself. It was good to have some positive encouragement, rather than people saying you’re completely mad. So, some immediate things I needed to act on:

Cold Water Training – Helping my body get used to water temp of the Thames.
Swim Training – Improving my stroke, fitness and stamina
Eating Everything – To put on weight and to provide more insulation against the cold.

Updates to come.

Next Challenge: Thames Swim 2016

Thames Swim Logo - Both Charities.jpg

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.

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Welcome to our challenge website – TEN WEEKS UNTIL WE START!

In under 2 months time me and my friend Dave will be embarking on one of the biggest challenges in our lives – Running the Pennine Way in the UK – aptly named running 10in10. A hilly 300miles through the heart of the UK in just 10 days.

As Dave has highlighted in this post I reblogged below, we are running for charity, and are aiming to raise in excess of £2000 which will be split between cancer research UK and Katherine House Hospice.

I will sharing the blog posts we write on the run on my personal blog, but if you want to find more about the run, keep up to date on our progress or if you want to donate to the charities then please follow our blog or any of our social media channels:

Website: https://running10in10.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/running10in10/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/running10in10

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Running10in10

Chris & Dave's Running Blog

Rather conveniently, this initial post finds us TEN weeks away from the start of attempting to run TEN marathons in TEN days!

This is such a short period of time before such a big challenge and the prospect is somewhat daunting. Preparations are well under way though, with route planning, equipment specification, accommodation and logistics.

The Challenge is simple on paper – run the entire length of the Pennine Way from the south to the north in ten days. The route tracks along the spine of the north of England and breaks down into approximately a marathon per day. The terrain is tough, with almost all of it being off road and hilly, not to mention the effect that the weather can have on such an exposed route.

We hope you can join us on this journey and we’ll be posting regularly in the lead up and during the challenge…

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