Iwan Thomas Tackles Great North Swim in Windermere

This news broke on Monday, June 17th, 2013 | For more breaking news visit our news page

The UK’s biggest open water swimming event took place over the last three days on the shores of the Low Wood Hotel.

The elite one-mile races featuring some of the world’s best swimmers started proceedings on Saturday in chilly conditions, with the water temperature at 15.4C at the beginning of the day.

In the men’s race, Great Britain’s Tom Allen won in 17mins 11secs ahead of Germany’s Christian Reichert (17mins 13 secs) and the Czech Republic’s Jan Posmourny (17mins 14secs).

The USA’s Christine Jennings won the women’s race in 19mins 5secs. Britain’s Ellena Jones came second in 19mins 12secs and fellow Brit Lucy Charles came third in 19mins 14secs.

After the elite races were over, thousands of amateur swimmers, in half-hour waves, took to the water for their own special mass-participation swimming moment over the same one-mile course.

Among them was the former 400 metre Commonwealth gold medallist runner and TV Presenter Iwan Thomas, who finished in 34mins 18secs.

Scores of South Cumbria swimmers were also part of the spectacle.

Hannah Bell, 27, of Walney, finished in 1hr 10secs, raising around £800 for St Mary’s Hospice in memory of her late granddad.

She said afterwards: “Right now, I don’t want to do it again, but by tomorrow I will. If you can raise £800 for St Mary’s Hospice, you’ve got to do it again.”

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