The perfect joy of swimming and running through London

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In The Swimmer, John Cheever’s celebrated 1964 short story [pdf], Neddy Merrill decides to swim home via a dozen or so of his neighbours’ pools. Of course, to link this chain of water, he has to run across lawns, through woods and down busy roads.

Inspired by Neddy’s watery journey, two south Londoners, Will Watt and Jonathan Cowie, came up with the idea of The Swimmer, a relaxed half-marathon that takes in a number of London’s finest parks and open-air pools. Starting in Hampstead in north London, the route heads down through the centre, crosses the Thames and ends up “back home” at Brockwell lido, near Brixton. It takes place on the second Saturday of each month (with a break for the summer) and over the past couple of years has quietly gained a reputation as one of the most interesting, esoteric, and certainly friendliest sporting events around.

Read The Telegraph

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, part-time coach. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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