Saturday 26 September 2009 – Alton Water
British Gas swimmers Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten are just two of the great athletes competing in the inaugural Great East Swim. Set amongst 600 acres of striking countryside, Alton Water is the largest area of inland water in Suffolk and provides the perfect backdrop for the swim.
The event is part of Great Swim, a new series of one mile swims taking place throughout the UK and being broadcast by Channel 4. Taking its inspiration from the world’s biggest half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run, Great Swim uses the formula of mass participation events to provide a focus and a personal challenge for participants.
Supported by charity partners including Heart Radio, Cancer Research UK, RNLI, The British Red Cross, Sussex County Council and the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation, Great East Swim is open to those of all abilities – from those who have only swum in pools through to those training for a triathalon.
The event has already captured the imagination of personalities including self-styled adventurer and Sky Sports’ journalist, Julian Crabtree who is three-quarters of the way through the astonishing feat of swimming every wave of every swim in the series totalling 48 miles, the equivalent of swimming the channel and back.
Karen Pickering MBE, winner of a prodigious 73 medals for swimming, and runner Sonia O’Sullivan, 5000m Olympic silver medallist and double world cross-country champion. When asked what time she hoped to complete the course in, Sonja said “The aim is to swim my age – a mile in 39 minutes!”.
Participating in the event will be competitors ranging from a group of 20 swimmers who train every Sunday in the River Debben in preparation for the race, an amputee teacher, a car crash victim who spent 9 months in a coma and swims as a major part of his recovery programme and a man swimming in memory of his two friends who died in Afghanistan.
Colin Hill, Event director commented: “Our vision for Great Swim was to inspire people into trying outdoor swimming for the first time as well having the world’s best competing in the same event. Confirming Cassie and Keri-Anne into all races in the Great Swim will hopefully inspire all of those thinking about taking part to sign up and be part of this world class event.”
For more information and details of how to enter please visit www.greatswim.org
If you would like to swim at any of the events, participate in practise sessions, get training tips from the Olympic medallists, speak to any of our celebrities or require any further information please contact Emma Harvey on 0766 12 45 12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.