Athletes from in and around Harborough are set to swim the entire length of England’s biggest lake

They are hoping to raise over £1,000 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service at the same time
Lake WindermereLake Windermere
Lake Windermere

Some 20 superfit athletes from in and around Harborough are training hard to swim the entire length of England’s biggest lake this month.

Welland Valley Triathlon Club (WVTri) enthusiasts are pushing themselves to the absolute limit as they set out to conquer the country’s world-famous Lake Windermere.

And they are hoping to raise over £1,000 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service at the same time.

The dedicated men and women will start their 10.5-mile open water swim at Fell Foot Park at the south of Lake Windermere before swimming north to Water Head in Ambleside.

One mile wide and up to 220ft (66.7 metres) deep, the 17 solo swimmers and one relay team will take on food and water during their gruelling water marathon.

They will be supported by experienced open water swim event providers Swim Your Swim in safety boats and kayaks.

The challenge is poised to go ahead in the jewel of the Lake District on Sunday August 29.

It was planned to take place last August but had to be cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The triathletes have been training day in day out at local outdoor venues such as Rutland Water and wild swimming in the River Nene as they gear up to take on Windermere.

Darren Thoirs, of WVTri, said: ‘Swimming Lake Windermere is an awesome challenge and our first organised marathon swim as a club.

“Everyone is working hard to increase their training each week, focusing on perfecting fuelling methods and looking forward to an amazing experience in the beautiful Lake District.”

The 20 heroes are also getting behind the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service.

Families and friends have already donated over £850 – smashing their £500 target – and they are on course to crash through the £1,000 barrier.

WVTri Club is ran by its members based in and around Market Harborough, Kettering and Corby.

Sue Henley, part of the 3-person relay team, said: “As a triathlon club our members are regularly cycling on rural and often very remote country roads.

“We’re very thankful that the air ambulance service is there if or when needed to make life-saving callouts and we want to show our gratitude by fundraising for them.”

As a friendly and welcoming triathlon club of all standards, WVTRi offer training help and support for all levels of ability.

If you’re interested in joining or would like further information then visit www.wvtri.com or get in touch via email to [email protected]

The top 20 swimmers warming up to tackle Windermere are: Chris Stuckey, Dan Stevens, Rachel Burton, Paula Moore, Charlotte Chattaway, Natalie Gerard, Stuart Hacker, Robin Welch, Marc Jordan, Craig Fuller, Tracy Southwell, Mark Ashford, Darren Thoirs, Jacquie Cooper, Catherine Searcy, Ed Moncrief, Fiona Thompson, Sue Henley, Jamie Poole and Rob Pollard.

You can support their air ambulance fundraising effort here: www.justgiving.com/WVTriSwimLakeWindermereAnd you can check out Welland Valley Triathlon Club here: www.wvtri.com