The Conclusion of My Great North Swim

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas in The British Gas Great North Swim at Lake Windermere
A bit of a clingy number, I grant you

Not the most fetching of outfits I know, but here’s me in my neoprene wetsuit, getting ready to depart for Lake Windermere to take part in the second Great North Swim.

It was the inaugural GNS at Windermere that took place last September that first hooked me in.

In 2008, around 2,000 competitors swam a mile around the edge of the stunning lake, many raising money for charity and others simply doing it for personal achievement.

The diverse selection of people that signed up for the swim ticked all the boxes for level of skill, endurance, age and sporting agility and as I’m the most un-sporty sandwich in the picnic, I thought it might be something I could do in my own time in an effort to get a bit fitter and to raise money for my lovely charity NACOA.

I swam in the 4.30pm wave on Saturday 12th September and completed the mile in 77 minutes.

I raised £850.00 for NACOA and emerged from the water emotional, uplifted and completely buzzing – to be honest, I thought I’d be wasted.  In true Smithy style, I had only organised my accommodation 30 minutes before taking to the water and was quite delighted and relieved to find myself falling out of a cab and into the Park Cliffe camp site.

One quick tent erection later and I was out like a light…

…until the sleeping bag zip pinged open and the wind wafted around my thighs, but that’s another story, which involves duct tape, Kendal Mint Cake and two pairs of wet socks.

Rubishly yours,

TS x