In the main, swimmers get short shrift when it comes to charity events. Runners are extremely well catered for, while walkers and cyclists will usually have their pick of several excellent events a month, but swimmers get barely more than a handful of organised chances each year to strut their stuff in the water and raise some dough for charity,
Even if you’re not already a swimmer you should check out Swimathon, because it makes the perfect target to aim for when a new year fitness kick is running out of steam, especially as with swimming you can do all your training indoors. Just think about all the people training for the London Marathon plodding along frosty pavements while you splash around a heated indoor pool, followed by five minutes in the sauna or jacuzzi.
Swimathon 2019 runs from 29th to 31st March and involves a range of different challenges that makes it suitable for all. Beginners can sign up to swim 400m, 1.5km or even 2.5km, which is 100 laps of a 25m pool and a great target to aim towards. More experienced swimmers can opt for 5km or even the Triple 5km Challenge, which involves swimming 5km on each day of the event. There are also 1.5km and 5km team swims you can plump for if you want to share the load.
The event takes place at 600 pools around the country so there’s sure to be a session near you where you can complete your distance. These sessions are three hours long so you have enough time to log your laps for whatever distance you’ve signed up for.
If you can’t make any of the sessions you can still sign up for the MySwimathon challenge, where you complete your chosen distance in one go at any pool between Friday 22nd March and Sunday 7th April. Then you just submit your time online.
The Swimathon website offers advice on how to train for the event and will have full ten-week training plans available from mid-January.
It costs £14 to enter Swimathon, but if you sign up before 13th January that price is reduced to £9.10. There’s no specific fundraising target but you’ll naturally want to raise as much as possible for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie with your swim.