Funeral sector worker Andrew Humphrey recently took part in the Great East Swim to raise money for Brain Tumour UK.
Andrew, regional development manager with Funeral Planning Services, partook in the 1,500 metre swim at Alton Water Reservoir near Ipswich in aid of Brain Tumour UK – a charity close to Andrew’s heart since losing his father to a brain tumour eight years ago.
Much to Andrew’s chagrin, the event was delayed by 24 hours because of high winds: “I was not sure the extra wait would do much for my nerves,” he remarked.
Andrew continued: “I got changed into my wetsuit, and strangely became much calmer. I had been very nervous about this challenge; especially having never swum outdoors or in a wetsuit before. Now though, I was changed, prepared and ready – albeit looking like a podgy seal with a sunburnt head!”
Upon approaching the 400 metre mark, Andrew began to doubt whether he could complete the swim: “I was gasping for air and hadn’t even got to the 400 metre mark,” he said.
“I looked to see the 400 metre buoy approaching [and started] to think I wouldn’t be able to finish the course. I was now looking up trying to spot the safety kayaks rather than concentrate on the course. I was almost relieved to see another chap make a grab for one of the boats; and felt strangely reassured that I wasn’t the only one finding this tough going.”
Spurred on, Andrew fought through the progression-hindering winds to get into a steady rhythm and finish the course in 41 minutes and 7 seconds: “It had felt about twice as long as that. To say I was surprised is an understatement.”
Despite describing the experience as an “ordeal”, Andrew is planning to take part in a Triathlon later in the year.
Altogether he raised over £400 for Brain Tumour UK, a tally that can be added to via his Justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/Andrew-BrainTumourUK
Image: Andrew’s son congratulates him upon completing his swim