In The Swimmer, John Cheeverâ€™s celebrated 1964 short story [pdf], Neddy Merrill decides to swim home via a dozen or so of his neighboursâ€™ pools. Of course, to link this chain of water, he has to run across lawns, through woods and down busy roads.
Inspired by Neddyâ€™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 Londonâ€™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 â€œback homeâ€ 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