Sunday, 10 July 2016


So that's it - the last 10km marathon swim completed this afternoon‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬. A sense of relief and happiness that it's behind me! So many sincere thanks to mention. Had a great gang of swimmers today; Victoria, Kate, Petra and Mark, Kim and Matt, Colin and Jayne, Ade, Charlie, Jane, Dave, John and Matthew. Thanks to everyone who has donated, it's a wonderful pool and I'm very glad to help fundraise to support this unique and historic community facility. Thanks to everyone at the Lido you all do such a great job Julie, Keith, Adam, Iain, Graham, Tim and all the lifeguards. I'll be back in the morning but just for an easy 4km…..who am I kidding, I never swim 'easy'.


Saturday, 9 July 2016

29 down only 1 to go!

So that's 290km now swum in 29 days. Many thanks to Kate "Superfish" Nimmo for joining me this morning and managing 8km alongside me. Last marathon swim tomorrow to complete my ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬. The final 10km is dedicated to my amazing wife Vickie, my ultimate support and source of inspiration. I could't manage this without her. I'll jump in at 11am and anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome. This is the last plug for my fundraising site. All proceeds are going to the wonderful community resource that is the Sandford Lido. If you value your community swimming pools, if you love swimming outdoors, if you think this little effort of mine is worth a few quid it would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 8 July 2016

28th marathon swim done

This morning was the 28th consecutive marathon swim. Only two more to go now. I needed Vickie there for the 2nd half to keep me going when I started flagging. Back tomorrow morning for the penultimate swim marathon. Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated simply to the Sandford Parks Lido. The whole reason to do these swims was to support and raise some money for this wonderful community facility. We've had some good local media coverage and great local support. Hopefully they'll be able to put the money raised towards the ongoing refurbishments that are needed in this 80 year old Lido. With ongoing support I hope it'll still be going in another 80 years! Many thanks to everyone at the Lido, particularly Keith Norris and Julie Sargent, Adam and Iain and all the life guards who cheer me on when I'm the only one left in the pool!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

No 27 completed. Only 30km to swim.

Marathon swim no 27 completed - one last afternoon swim crammed in between work stints today. Only 3 more 10km swims to squeeze in between now and Sunday. Had the lovely Jess Wooddisse to keep me company for the entire 10km today. Thanks also to Jayne Ball and Colin Stephenson who dropped in. Tomorrow is the 28th consecutive marathon swim and is dedicated to the great bunch of swimmers who I swim with in the Lido every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. These swimmers rock up to swim together most mornings, no club, no coach just swimming with other committed swimmers in Cheltenham's best swimming spot. Age group champions, keen triathletes, masters swimmers, English Channel swimmers, even an Olympic medallist. See you all at 6.30am in the morning.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

26 down 4 to go!

Well the most important news is that yesterday's canine patient is doing well and recovering from his enterectomy surgery. This morning I completed number 26 of 30 consecutive marathon swims. I felt great for the first 5km this morning and swam far too quickly and paid for it in the 2nd half but as the end nears I'm getting a bit less inclined to pace myself! Thanks to Vickie for keeping me company this morning when everyone else sensibly departed. Only 4 more marathons to go. Back tomorrow at 1pm and number 27 is dedicated to The Marathon Swimmers Federation set up by Evan Morrison and Donal Buckley. The MSF forum is a wonderful resource for open water swimmers and I'm forever in Evan's debt for stepping aside to let me tackle Manhattan Island. Keep up the great work guys.

5000 laps swum and 250km.

25th consecutive 10km swim. That's 5000 laps of the 50m Sandford Parks Lido now swum. Struggled this afternoon, tired, poorly fuelled and generally hard work. Was late after spending half the morning removing a foreign body from a dog's intestine. Hopefully the little fella will make a good recovery but it certainly didn't do his intestine any favours! Tomorrow morning it's back in the water at 6.30am. I'm dedicated 26 to Kate Nimmo. Kate is a brilliant local swimmer. She's supported me on loads of these marathon swims and is a great training buddy. She's going down in Brownsea this year though, not letting her beat me again!

Monday, 4 July 2016

24th marathon swim completed.

24th marathon swim in 24 days done. Only 6 more to go. Thanks to Kate Nimmo for seeing me home this morning. Looking forward to Sunday big time. Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to the family and friends who supported me on my most memorable swim - Manhattan 2011. In particular: Lorna Freeman my wonderful mother-in-law, Tim Freeman my brother from another mother and great friend and high school buddy Knowles Tivendale. Sometimes our greatest achievements are a combination of hard work, perseverance and just being in the right place at the right time.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

1 week to go - only 7 more marathon swims left!

Day 23 of ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬. Only one more week to go. Had great company today - the awesome foursome kept me going of Kate Nimmo, Paul Smith, Howard James and Simon Griffiths. All phenomenal swimmers and honoured to have their company. Nice photo of my current goggle tan which is only going to get worse! Thanks also to David Granger and Vickie who supported us today. Looking forward to my last week of 10km swims. Back tomorrow at 6.30am….again. Tomorrow is dedicated to two outstanding swim coaches - Simon Cooper and Kevin Walters. I don't often swim with a club these days but if these guys are coaching I'm very happy to turn up. Thanks for all the encouragement and support guys.
Goggle Tan - so cool…...
Awesome Foursome and me 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

22 down 8 to go!

22nd consecutive marathon swim completed this morning. Lovely morning swim at the Lido. Thanks to Sean Kinsey who stuck out the whole 10km and looked like he thoroughly regretted it by the end! Looking forward to tomorrow's swim starting at 9am. I'm dedicating it to Koti Ngawati and Melbourne Vicentre Swim Club. Koti is an Australian Olympic swimmer who has just qualified for Rio this year, she has worked amazingly hard and triumphed through adversity to qualify for the olympics, all the best Koti. Melbourne Vicentre was my swim club when I moved to Australia, so many years of hard but happy squad training and swimming with swimmers much much better than me! ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬

3 weeks done

Day 21 - three weeks of consecutive marathon swims completed. Lots of company this morning and thanks to Karen Hilton for those lovely pictures! Here's an ECG I took today - still in sinus rhythm so all good! Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to H2Open Magazine and Simon Griffiths. So lucky to have this magazine in the UK, I'm not biased I haven't been in it for ages! Hope to see you on Sunday Simon. ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬. 9 more swims to go all for the wonderful Sandford Parks Lido.

Butt shot 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

20 days done, 10 to go

20 consecutive marathon swims now completed. 2/3rds of ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬ done. Feels like a different muscle group is complaining every day now. Some stats - 20 days, 200km swum, 4000 lengths of the 50m Sandford Parks Lido. Amount of weight loss - 0kg (I'm replacing calories very successfully). Number of lengths breaststroke = 0. Tomorrow is day 21 and is dedicated to the Black Rock Ice-Bergers in Melbourne. Too many English Channel swimmers to count, great bunch of cold water, long distance swimming enthusiasts. Led by the wonderful Albert Bardoel, if you want to get into open water swimming in Melbourne this is where to go to. Just leave your wetsuit at home.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

190km in, 30 x 300m is a great way to pass the time.

Day 19 today. This morning's exciting 10km set was a 1km warm up followed by 30 x 300m. Think I'm running out of imagination as the days go by. Thanks to Kim Boon for sticking out the majority of them and the lovely Vickie for jumping in at the end. Tomorrow is a milestone - day 20, 200km and 2/3rd distance. I'm dedicating tomorrow to a group of American long distance swimmers I met and swam with from Spain to Africa. Darren Miller, Jamie Patrick, Jen Schumacher, Kimberly Plewa and Michelle Nelson. Should be back in the water about 1pm tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Day 18 - is 6km a warm up?

It seemed to take me 6km just to get going today, finally the shoulders loosened up and the next 4kms felt quite good. I have a lot of built up muscle fatigue now. That's 3600 laps swum out of 6000 or 180km in 18days, just 12 more to go. Tomorrow's swim is another early 6.30am start and is dedicated to Simon Wintle. Simon is my personal soigneur! Apart from providing some much needed sports massage he was an absolutely critical part of our Arch to Arc team last year. If he didn't like swimming breaststroke so much he would be a really top bloke. See you tomorrow Simon, thanks again.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Day 17 - a struggle to get up this morning!

Day 17 and another 10km swim completed. Great work from David James who stuck in till the end this morning swimming with me. Back tomorrow at 9.30am for number 18. Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to the BLDSA - the British Long Distance Swim Association. Swimming in BLDSA events got me started in long distance swimming and I still love their races, the history and the camaraderie. If you want to get into open water swimming in the UK this is where it all began.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Day 16 - 3200 laps of swimming

Day 16. 160km swum, 3200 laps of the Sandford Lido. Lovely to see the Beechams and Briffetts at the end. Enjoyed swimming with Ade and Rhian, makes the kms tick over much more quickly! Back tomorrow morning at 6.30am for day 17 and another 10km of swimming. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to the Powerpoints Masters Swim Club. One of, if not the best masters swim club in Australia! Loved training with and being a member of Powerpoints. So many friendly, welcoming members and great swimmers. 30marathonswims30days.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Halfway! Only another 150km to go.

So another 10km swum, that's half way of my 30 marathon swims in 30 days. 150km in the last 15 days. Thanks to Kate Nimmo and Paul Bates who kept me company at the start and Gloucester Masters for the last 4km. Tomorrow I'll be starting at 11am for number 16. This is all in aid of and to raise money for the Sandford Parks Lido here in Cheltenham, a fantastic community facility that I hope will be around for another 80 years.

Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to Richard and Devon Clifford, a swimming dynasty in NY. Richard was my guide and paddle support when I set the Manhattan record and has an unparalleled record of swimming support in the open water swimming world. Devon is his lovely daughter and is swimming in the world famous 8 bridges swim starting tomorrow, good luck Devon, see you guys soon I hope.

Paul Bates and myself at the Lido. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Day 14 - 2 weeks in, unilateral breathing and more aching shoulders

Week 1 was about getting into a groove, getting that niggling rib injury to settle and trying not to get carried away. Week 2 has been about managing the increasingly achy shoulders and fatiguing body. I made what I thought was a sensible decision to do as much bilateral breathing as possible in the first week. Partly because I have always been nagged by various swim coaches that my one-sided breathing was the cause of various right shoulder issues, and partly because I was starting this 30 days of marathon swimming with an existing rib and back injury on my right side. So one week in I was pleased that the rib and back were settling but I was struggling big time with an increasingly painful left shoulder. The only thing I was doing differently was the bilateral breathing so I ditched it and went back to just breathing to the left side. Can't say the left shoulder is fixed but it has stopped getting worse so hopefully it will stay at this level for the next 2 weeks. On the plus side I'm starting to sleep better, I think that is the increasing fatigue catching up with me. Halfway tomorrow.

Day 14 update - Woke up to a bit of a shock this morning but still managed to swim another marathon - day 14 done, 140km swum in the last 2 weeks. That's most of the way from England to Brussels! Great support from Lisa Jones who swam another 10km with me. Tomorrow is half way - number 15. I'm dedicating number 15 to Rob Sheldon, Mike Beecham, Finn Fraser and Hugo Hedley. These great guys have supported me across the English Channel, along Windermere and across Torbay. Great support is vital to any successful swim, and I'm very grateful to all these guys.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 13………..

Fixed puppy's fractured leg, swam 10km and voted in the referendum, a good days work. I start again tomorrow for number 14 at 6.30am. Thanks to Jayne Ball and Joanne Duberley who joined me this afternoon, Jo swam the whole 10km for the 2nd time! Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to my parents; James and Helen. I never would have achieved anything in swimming without their unfailing support and encouragement. Mum has even jumped into the support boat on several occasions. Heck, without them I wouldn't have achieved much in life at all!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A dozen marathon swims completed

Number 12 completed this morning. That's 12 marathon swims in 12 days. 18 to go. Had some good company this morning all the way to 9am. Tomorrow is lucky number 13, plan to be starting about 1pm, just got to fix a broken puppy's leg first! I'm dedicating number 13 to Howard James. Howard is an amazing open water swimmer, he set a record this year for the earliest English Channel swim of the calendar year - crazy cold swim. The best thing about Howard is that he lets me beat him every time we race. See you soon buddy.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tired tonight!!

Day 11 of 30. Another 10km swum 2200 laps out of 6000. Starting to feel it, shoulders aching and physically exhausted tonight - 4.30am start yesterday might have something to do with it. Lovely to have Jayne Ball and Colin Stephenson join me at the start today and David Granger cheered me home. Another early start tomorrow, 6.30am, dedicated to Grant Bates. Grant was my cousin's husband and a truly inspiring man. He supported me on my very first swim marathon (2-way Windermere in 2009), his unfailing enthusiasm, energy and zest for life still inspire me today. He would think this little challenge was brilliant!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 10 and 100km swum!

Day 10 of 30marathonswims30days done. 100km now swum in 10days. Good 'fun' 10km today with a 5am start. Great support from Jon Rawlings, Jason Berry, Joanne Duberley, David James and Lisa Jones who all swum the 100 x 100m set with me. Tomorrow I'll be in at about 1pm for number 11, I'm dedicating number 11 to Craig Morgan. Craig is a Hawaiian Ironman Triathlete and friend from Melbourne. Craig was left a paraplegic after a hit and run last November. He's an amazingly positive and life-affirming individual despite all he's been through in the last 6months.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

9th marathon swim

9th consecutive swim marathon completed. Thanks to Maisie who joined me for the start and Vickie who kept me going at the end. Tomorrow is an early start - the sunrise swim so I'll be in the water by 4.55am! Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Penny Palfry and Chloe McCardel- two of my heroes of Australian long distance swimming. What these two ladies have done and continue to do is truly amazing, feel very fortunate to have swum with them both.
P.S. - thanks for the coffee Keith!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

80km done

Day 8 and 80km swum. Thanks to David James and David Shephard who joined me this morning, really appreciated the company. Tomorrow I'll start at 2pm. Tomorrow I'm dedicating to some of my support crew, Jane Rackham and Georgina Taft. Jane's sports massage & George's Physio have been vital in this and previous swims, everyone needs a great support crew to get them to the finish line.

Friday, 17 June 2016

1 week in - poor sleep and aching shoulders

So I've done 7 marathon swims now. My back, ribs and shoulders are aching about as much as to be expected after 70km of swimming in 7 days. The left shoulder is grumbling a little more than I'd like but still feels manageable at the moment and doesn't bother me while swimming, just afterwards. The most curious problem I have had is an inability to sleep well which I didn't expect. It's the one thing I thought I'd have no problems with, if anything I thought I'd be out like a light and struggling to get up in the mornings. Instead I find myself waking up throughout the night and wide awake before the alarm has gone off. Unlike the shoulders, I suspect as the month progresses this sleep problem will sort itself out.
That's 70km swum now in 7 days (23 to go). Thanks to David James and Lisa Jones who kept me company in the water. Thanks to Penny, Karen, Victoria and Antonia who hung around to cheer me at the end. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Ron Coltman aka Mr Lido. Ron was ever-present at the lido for decades and tomorrow is Ron's rescue day at the lido. I know he would have approved of this little fund-raising event for the Sandford Parks Lido

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Day 6, 60km in.

Day 6 and another 10km swim done. I'll be back in the water at 6.30am tomorrow for day 7. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Gloucester Masters Swim Club. I've been swimming for GM for about 16 years, ever since I first came to Cheltenham. Always important to find a club that is as welcoming and sociable as it is serious about swimming. See you all on Saturday.

1000 laps done.

Day 5 done - 1000 laps of the pool have now been swum. Only another 25 marathons to complete! I'm dedicating tomorrow's marathon swim to AndrewVidler and Michael Gregory aka AV and The Tractor. Two ordinary guys from Melbourne who have done some extraordinary swims. Totally inspiring and two nicer guys you'd struggle to meet.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Day 4 done

4th marathon swim completed, something quite nice about swimming in an outdoor pool in the driving rain. Number 5 tomorrow at 6.30am. Tomorrow I'm dedicated the swim to Mike Phelps, not the 18 time olympic gold medalist (although hats off to him), no I mean Mike Phelps the founder and long time coach of Gloucester masters swim club. Mike passed away in 2009 but not before he encouraged me in my very first English Channel swim. Great coach, lovely man.

30km done

3rd marathon swim out of 30 done. 30km swum. Thanks to John Myatt, Kate Nimmo and James who kept me company. Tomorrow I'll get in at 2pm for number 4. Tomorrow is dedicated to Nick Adams, a wonderfully generous and productive swimmer. His contribution to English Channel swimming and the channel community is immense. I'll be swimming like Nick tomorrow, but maybe without the credit card in my trunks.

Little video of me about 7km in yesterday 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Day 2, early days but so far so good.

2nd 10km marathon swim done of 30marathonswims30days. Thanks to Kate Nimmo, David James and Vickie who joined me for several kms. Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to Kim Boon and David Granger. Kim and Dave have both beaten cancer, showing the same bravery and determination in their individual battles as they do in their sport. They are both English Channel swimmers who do a tremendous amount locally for swimming and triathlon. Dave has crewed for me in Windermere and they have both supported many other channels swimmers, they are a great example of selfless contributors to our sport.
Kim Boon - mid-channel! 
Dave at Lake Zurich Marathon Swim 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

1 done 29 to go!

1st 10km swim marathon done, only 29 to go! Back niggle not as painful as I feared but ribs still quite sore so I guess that evens itself out. I'll be back in the pool tomorrow at 8.30am if anyone wants to join me for a few laps. Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to my father-in-law Michael Freeman. Mike passed away a few months ago from pancreatic cancer. He was a huge support in many of my swims including across the English Channel and Manhattan Island. He was an inspiring man and a wonderful husband and father. He is hugely missed but if I can channel even just a little of his bravery and stoicism tomorrow will be a cruise.

Each swim I'm dedicating to a different person who has helped or inspired me in the sport of swimming. Today was for Steven Munatones, doyen of open water swimming and who recently had a major health scare. Wishing Steve all the best and thanks for all you do for our wonderful sport.
Mike Freeman 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

30marathonswims30days - starts on Saturday

So the countdown has begun, my 30 marathon swim challenge will start this Saturday the 11th of June and run until the 10th of July. I've just got back from Georgina the physio who has taped up my niggling back injury and given me a green light of sorts (well she didn't say not to!) to start my swims. The injury, rather frustratingly, has nothing to do with swimming. I played in an overly competitive game of football two weeks ago and coped a very pointy elbow to the ribs. I've cracked ribs before so the sensation and discomfort were worryingly familiar, and although the rib pain is settling it has triggered various back and neck spasms that have proven to be more painful than the rib injury. Still I've committed to the next month of swims and hopefully with a good bit of physical therapy from Simon and careful management, I'll hopefully find things will continue to settle down as the month progresses. I'll be starting at 9am on Saturday and I'll keep posting updates as the swims progress. See you all in the pool.

Thursday, 28 April 2016


So this is my challenge - 30 consecutive marathon swims in 30 days. That is, 10km swum every day for 30 days. 

Every swim will be in the Sandford Parks Lido here in Cheltenham. The aim is to promote and support the Sandford Lido and encourage and hopefully inspire people to get down to their local swimming pools. 

I've been a big fan of the Lido ever since I first came to Cheltenham back in 2000. Over the years it has been a huge part of my training swims for various open water challenges from swimming the English Channel to the Channel of Bones in Hawaii to my Manhattan swim

The Sandford Lido has had a stuttering start to the year with a major boiler breakdown costing £15,000 in repairs and 3 weeks of heating at the start of the season (I've selfishly enjoyed having the pool to myself at times as the water temp dropped to only 10degrees!).  They have an ongoing struggle with the Cheltenham Borough Council to secure a new lease on the site and neighbouring car park. The public interest and publicity I can generate for the Lido will hopefully help raise some funds for them but more importantly reinforce the importance of this wonderful facility to Cheltenham and the wider area.  

Logistically this will be an interesting challenge. One 10km swim is a long training swim but quite manageable with my level of swimming fitness. Doing it day after day for 30 days becomes a much more difficult proposition. How will my shoulders and back hold up (not to mention my heart!). I can't afford to have a month of work so I will need to fit these swims in before and after work. Without a rest day how will the build up of muscle and mental fatigue affect me? 

I plan to keep a log of my progress here. 30 days of marathon swimming, 300km, 6000 lengths of the 50m pool, approximately 200,000 strokes. Anyone fancy joining me for a couple of lengths?