After winning the 400m race in our inaugural Open Water Swim event last year, Lauren Presland (15) is looking forward to tackling a much longer route in our Open Water Swim Series this summer.
Lauren, from St Albans, is in training to swim 5K at the first of two events at Merchant Taylors’ Lake. She’ll join other swimmers – some experienced in open water swimming, others diving in for the first time – on Saturday, May 28. A regional swimmer who competes at county level, Lauren explains why she likes to swap lengths of the pool for laps of the lake:
“I first tried open water swimming during lockdown, when pools were closed, and I couldn’t train. It really calms me down – it’s great to be able to watch the birds while you’re training. I love the adrenalin of racing in the pool, but it’s nice to enjoy a more relaxed pace outdoors too.”
Alongside her regular training in the pool, Lauren’s doing some longer open water swims in preparation for the event. In a recent lake training swim, the deck was covered in frost and the water temperature a chilly 9 degrees. But Lauren says the water should have warmed up to 15/16 degrees by the end of May.
All swimmers at our Open Water Swim Series need to wear swim hats, and branded hats are provided as part of the entry fee. It is advised to wear wetsuits but if you’re brave you can go without! Swimmers are encouraged to raise sponsorship towards the charity’s specialist hospice care.
Lauren explains why she’s keen to raise funds: “Rennie Grove looked after my Auntie. She used the services at Grove House and had visits from the Hospice at Home nurses.” Having Rennie Grove’s support during that time meant a great deal to Lauren’s whole family.
Lauren raised £800 for our charity through her swim last year and was one of the first to hit the £250 mark this year, earning her a limited-edition event hoodie. Follow and support her here. Or sign up to our Open Water Swim Series and try it for yourself on either 28 May or at the family festival on Saturday July 16: www.renniegrove.org/ows