Great news. We are very proud of Simon, Nicola and Frank (pictured above) who have (so far) raised £340 for their 2.5km Wild Dart Swim.
An amazing achievement and wonderful effort from them all, with top spots in age groups achieved too.
Organised by Wild Running and following social distancing guidance, the team had a gentle start from Totnes.
Nicola said: “The water was surprisingly warm, certainly compared to my freezing training swims in the sea.”
While Nicola and Simon chose a leisurely pace and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and wildlife, including lush reed beds and herons, Frank swam super speedily and soon disappeared from their view.
Although familiar with sea swimming, this was Frank’s first river swim and organised swim event. He said: “It took me a few minutes to find a rhythm, but I soon found myself enjoying it so much I quickly sped off.
“I only had to stop once when 30 Canadian geese swam across my path for fear of running ‘fowl’ of them.
“It was in those moments when the swimmers has spaced out along the route that I felt a stronger connection with the rivers that we work so hard to protect – I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking of signing up to more wild swims this summer.”
Nicola chuckled that she had to watch out for some overhanging trees and a wayward swimmer doing backstroke but “it was all good fun”. She was immersed in her surroundings so much it was only when she noticed she was alone and the support boat started following her that she thought it best to go a tad faster.
For Simon, it was quite a different experience to his usual Bude sea pool swimming as he donned a wetsuit and swim hat.
“I got into a nice rhythm alternating breast stroke and front crawl with a little float in between to take in the view – it’s not often you get to see the river from that angle,” he said.
“Still, I was pleased to see the finish and it turns out we did it in well under an hour – thanks in large part to an outgoing tide.
“I’d definitely give it a go again next year – and might even be tempted to try the 5km, quite possibly without a wetsuit too.”
The team all arrived safe and well at Sharpham Quay.
Simon added: “The event seemed very well organised and went smoothly, which is no mean feat given the Covid restrictions and the number of different swim/run formats – so huge thanks to the organisers.”
Well done to all.
The funds raised will help towards our work protecting and monitoring Westcountry rivers.
You can still donate via uk.virginmoneygiving.com
Or visit the Support Us page to find out how you can make a donation or get involved in other ways to support our charitable work.
Our colleague from The Rivers Trust, Michelle, took on the 5km challenge to fundraise for our overarching river movement body – and smashed it. Read her story at justgiving.com/fundraising/michelle-walker-rivers-trust.
If you are thinking of wild swimming, please make sure you can do so safely and legally. You can find out more at: wrt.org.uk/our-reports/