102 Lengths Challenge

Celebrating 102 Years at Tooting Bec Lido with the 102 Length Challenge

The Annual 100+ length challenge took place on Saturday 27th September - finally summer had arrived it seemed! The water temperature was a fresh 14oC just to ensure the challenge built on its reputation of not being easy!

We had five solo swimmers, all male this year, 10 relays & the mixed-person relay. The solos started just after 2pm with World Winter Swimming Champion Andy Graham leading the pack. 2 hours 36 minutes later the first solo swimmer Brad Anderson completed the swim - very impressive given that the night before he could be seen swinging away with beer in hand to his favourite Aussie Rock Star - Jimmy Barnes! Second place was a photo finish with Stuart Palmer piping Nicolas Colete-Hopkins, both coming in at 2 hours 55mins, however, Stuart started 20 seconds after Nicolas so had the upper hand - well done Stu, sterling job. Nicolas was raising money for The Royal Marsden Hospital, Tommy’s - The Baby Charity and The National Autism Society - so far he has raised £899, congratulations Nic, and a fantastic challenge to support your chosen charities. In 4th place came Channel Swimmer John Bowron - after a 16 hour 37mins Channel swim, 3 hours 27mins in the Lido must have felt like a sprint. Due to coldness, World Champion Andy sensibly finished his swim at 40 lengths, but we know he will be back for more next year!

In the relays there was a tendency to swim in the sun so swimmers huddled together to make the most of it. Spotter United made up of speedy Channel Swimmers Katy Goodall & Giles Meyer came in 1st in 2 hours 29mins. 9 minutes behind were the Red Wine Junkies made up of, you guessed it - Tom Hudson, Mat Record & Jason Shaw. In 3rd place Channel aspirants The Lovely Ladies finished in 3 hours 3mins - these gorgeous gals were Lucy Petrie, Sue Murray & Jennifer Broadley.

Judith O’Driscoll, Ann Brimelow & Sophie Creswell did a fantastic job managing the mixed-person relay, in total 41 people took part with swims from 33yds up to 1000yds to make a total of 102 lengths.

All swimmers received certificates & Lido merchandise with the solos awarded well-deserved medals. Thank you to all the volunteers and to the Lifeguards.

Next year will be 103 - see you there!

Nancy Shaw