’22 mile swim in 22 days’ was the challenge Kim Huggins set for herself, all in the name of charity.
Kim Huggins created her own charity event to raise money for Pinney Talfourd’s Charity of the Year MNDA (South Essex Branch) along with Bloodwise (a blood cancer charity – formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research).
The challenge commenced mid August at her local Nuffield Health Gym. Her son, Ciaran, agreed to join her in the challenge. He already swims competitively for Chelmsford City Swimming Club, so she already knew he would have the stamina to complete the challenge – it was Kim that we were concerned about!
The first few days of 117 lengths per day were tiring and a few toe cramps resulted in a few unplanned interludes, however they persevered and it became a little easier day by day.
Due to illness and injury the swim did not go as smoothly as anticipated. A change of tactic meant that the swim was spaced over a longer period rather than the initial plan to swim on 22 consecutive days.
The lifeguards and staff were very accommodating and supportive and there was even interest and sponsorship from some of the members, which was wonderful.
Two weeks in and to add a bit of variety to the swim they headed for the Olympic Pool, Stratford. Swimming in the shadows of greatness, Ciaran tuned into his inner Phelps and Kim into her inner Addlington. Hours were spent pounding up and down, and despite being a lengthy 50 metre pool, it was actually quite comfortable.
Returning to the normal (much smaller) pool after this seemed like a luxury but a few sessions of 300 lengths at a time soon shocked their bodies back in to reality. Being spurred on by the encroaching car parking time expiry, they pushed through and got the job done, with legs like jelly as their prize.
Finishing the last of the lengths in early October was a significant moment and one which Kim is exceptionally proud of. The constant waft of chlorine and straw like hair, the wrinkled skin and toe cramps and ravenous hunger that swimming creates, was completely worth it.
Would she have managed on my own? “I doubt it. Having my son by my side, lapping me with ease, kept me going. ‘come on mum, its for a good cause’ was all I needed to hear to keep focused and get the job done.” Kim said.
Kim has raised funds both online and by personal collection, with the £100 target for each charity being met. Kim & Ciaran would like to thank everyone who has sponsored her to help raise vital funds for MNDA (South Essex Branch) to help them continue with the amazing work that they do to support sufferers of this terrible disease and to help Bloodwise, a charity that is very personal to her and her family.
There is still time to donate;
Support MNDA at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kim-Huggins2
Support Bloodwise at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kim-Huggins3