Down River With A Paddle
Swimmers completing epic journeys conjure up images of swimming caps, possibly wetsuits or goose fat, and the rhythmic stroke of freestyle. For the 10 fundraisers that swam the 155 mile route from Lechdale in Gloucestershire to Putney on the Thames on their way to Tower Bridge, that picture is not entirely accurate. Caps and wetsuits were used, but not freestyle. Breaststroke then? Nope they used doggy paddle. Not the quickest stroke they could have chosen but acting as one big relay team and accompanied by paddle boarders and a giant inflatable pink dog mascot, they completed the challenge in just six days and in the process raised £20,000 for the UK Stem Cell Foundation. It wasn’t without drama. Aside from being put through their paces by the Great British weather, they were notified by the Port of London Authority that they would not be able to swim the final leg of their journey from Putney to Tower Bridge, as it was deemed to be too dangerous during peak river business hours. This is where using doggy paddle proved to be a master stroke, as undeterred the swimmers simply paddled the final leg on board a boat. So they still managed to paddle their way down the Thames.