ORGANISERS of the second annual Moonlight Swimathon are aiming to double the distance and “swim the North Sea from Scarborough to Amsterdam.”
The intrepid swimmers are being challenged to complete 16,256 lengths - equivalent to 254 miles – at Ryedale Swimming pool, Pickering, in a 12 hour span this April.
Last year’s event set a target of 72 miles, the length of the River Derwent, only to be smashed on the day when the swimmers taking part swam 113 miles to raise £4,500 for Ryedale Special Families.
Swimmers of all ages and abilities will take to the water at an allotted time and complete as few or as many lengths as they want with their tally added to the overall total.
The pool will be split into four lanes and there will be a maximum of five swimmers in each lane. Each swimmer can book a 15 minute time-slot, or multiple slots, for £10 each and the charity hopes that swimmers will raise this and more through sponsorship.
The Moonlight Swimathon will start at 2pm on Saturday, April 20, and run until 2am the following day.
A medal will be presented to every swimmer taking part and in addition, they will receive a free swimming voucher, donated by Community Leisure Limited.
Rob Davies, Funding Co-ordinator for Ryedale Special Families and one of the organisers of the challenge said: “We were absolutely amazed at how much we beat the target by last year.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy being involved and we’ve been getting lots of enquiries about running it again. Our original idea was to create something different and fun which would appeal to as many people as possible, from fun swimmers to families, as well as serious swimmers too. Last year we had a complete mixture of ages and abilities – one person who will remain nameless swam just one length – and at the other extreme, somebody swam 450 lengths.
“This year we’re hoping to have the support of both Derwent Valley and Ryedale Swimming Clubs, as well as attract more people to take part and join in the fun.”
David Hannah of Community Leisure Limited, added: “This is a serious challenge and we need all the swimmers we can get giving their best effort. There is a real sense of ‘I was there’ with these events.
“This is the biggest event of our year and we are totally committed to supporting Ryedale Special Families as our chosen charity. There is a real feel good factor in the community working for a local cause. Our aim is to get more people, more active, more often. Helping Ryedale Special Families, improving health and wellbeing is a win-win situation for everybody. Get involved, you will love it.”
Full entry details and sponsor forms are available from Rob Davies, Funding Co-ordinator for Ryedale Special Families, by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01653 699000.