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Aquadeacon conquers the Arun

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Sep, 2020 10:32 PM

Our intrepid Archdeacon of Wilts has completed her epic swim to raise money for a spinal injuries charity.

The Ven Dr Sue Groom says:

"Sunday 20th September 2020 was a glorious sunny day, just perfect for a swim up a river. The most stressful aspect of the day was getting to the pre-swim briefing on time. I thought I had allowed plenty of time to drive to Arundel but with the M27 and the A27 both closed there were traffic jams for miles all around. We eventually got to the briefing 20 minutes late but thankfully I was still allowed to swim!

Aquadeacon conquers the Arun- 'Here we go'
'Here we go'

"There were about 20 of us in all, sorted into groups of 6 according to our relative swim speed. We got into the river at Arundel at 2pm and headed upstream with the tide. It was easy to get into a gentle rhythm and whizz along with the current. However, there was a lot of debris in the water – mats of reeds, branches and even a couple of chunks of tree trunks! I had to keep a good look out. By the end of the swim I had quite a few cuts on my hands and feet and a number of bruises.

"I enjoyed myself, although you don’t really get to appreciate the beautiful scenery passing by with your face in the water most of the time! I soon left my group behind and joined up with some paddle boarders who were travelling at about the same pace. There were also a few hire boats to watch out for – not all of them slowed down when passing swimmers and they created plenty of wash bouncing us up and down. We were escorted by kayaks and a dinghy keeping an eye on us.

Aquadeacon conquers the Arun- mid-swim

"The hardest part was the last 5 minutes because by then my arm muscles were tired, there were several streams converging causing choppy waters and a couple of hire boats speeding along! It was a relief when I was told to head to the left bank at Bury village – 6.5km from where we had entered the water at Arundel. It had taken me an hour and 40 minutes in total. I was certainly ready for the roast turkey dinner waiting for me at the pub!

Aquadeacon conquers the Arun- post-swim

"Thank you very much to all my wonderfully generous sponsors who between you have donated more than £1,000 for Aspire to help and support people with spinal injuries. The page is still open for donations [here]."

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