Lots of people enjoy swimming as a past time whether at the local swimming baths, a leisure club or at the seaside.Russell Higgs however takes swimming to a whole new level.He enjoys long distance swimming and took part in a competitive event to swim in all four home countries within 24 hours earlier in the summer.
Russell has swum for charity before and raises funds for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young in support of the installation of defibrillators in the Wolverhampton and Tettenhall areas. Russell’s best friend Alex died on the streets of Tettenhall from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), an undiagnosed heart problem, and could possibly have been saved if a defibrillator had been available.
For his latest challenge Russell joined other swimmers at the start point of Lake Bala in Wales at midnight. The 4 Kilometre swim took him 70 minutes with breaststroke his preferred swimming action. Straight out of the water and off to the Lake District and into a lake at Keswick.
Russell said the swimming was not an issue, but putting his wet suit back on at each place was not much fun, nor was waiting around for others to finish the course.Russell had trained extensively for the challenge, but not all of the swimmers proved to have the stamina to complete the four country swim.
Lock Ken in Scotland was followed by a trip across the Irish Sea to the final swim in Loch Neagh in Northern Ireland, a lake which produced its own difficulties with lots of weds for the swimmers to contend with.
Russell travelled 533 miles and swam for a total distance of 16.58 Kilometres. He says of the trip: “I was delighted to have finished the challenge in 22 hours.I had prepared well and raised around £1,200 which will cover the cost of a defibrillator.It costs around £2,000 altogether including installation.
“I support Cardiac Risk in the Young and help to support Alex’s family in their quest to generate awareness of the condition and to place defibrillators in community spaces so that lives can be saved.”