Coach challenges swimmers to 2000m open water swim
Date published: 27 June 2011
Mark Lord the Head Coach at Rochdale Swimming Club laid down a challenge to his swimmers to compete with him in the Swim Northwest open water 2000m swim on Sunday (26 June).
Four swimmers took up the challenge and took to the water with Mr Lord at Salford Quays.
The water temperature was a chilly 16.5 degrees and Matthew Lees, 21, and Blake Wilson, 18, opted to swim in just their costumes the other three: Mr Lord, 41, Toni Ellis, 13 and Eilish Kenny, 14, donned wetsuits.
The event started with a mass start and the swimmers had to complete four 500m laps, safety boats and canoes where placed around the course in case any swimmer got into difficulty.
The first Rochdale swimmer home was Matthew Lees in just over 33 minutes to claim the Bronze medal in the men’s race, closely followed by Blake Wilson in just over 35 minutes.
Head Coach Mark Lord battled home in just over 37 minutes closely followed by Toni Ellis in just over 39 minutes to claim the Bronze medal in the women’s race.
Eilish Kenny was feeling the cold and showed true determination to finish in just over 40 minutes. Miss Kenny was determined to finish and would not give into the cold as she was swimming to raise money for diabetes UK, she raised over £300 in sponsor money.
Toni Ellis had a double victory in winning her first medal in competition and also raising over £300 for Springhill Hospice.
Head Coach Mark Lord said: "I am extremely proud of what our swimmers have achieved today and they have all overcome a massive challenge.
“The pre-race nerves were soon washed away by the freezing cold water and I'm sure we will be back next year."
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