Rotary SwiMarathon 2017 is fantastic fun - again!

A team of swimmers from Street Pastors, who called themselves the Well Done Pasties , swam an amazing 173 lengths of the Leisure centre pool in a 50 minute relay. This is 3.46 lengths per minute and was very close to the previous record set by a team from the leisure centre staff, of 185 lengths.

In total 43 teams comprising over 230 swimmers, swam 4,578 lengths which is about 115 km, at Market Harborough Leisure Centre for the Rotary Club’s SwiMarathon 2017. This is now one of the biggest fun swimming events in the area.

Their efforts have raised over £7,000. The swimmers' money will all go back to good causes and charities.

Rotarian Gordon Etherington, chair of the group of Rotarians organising the SwiMarathon, said “We are delighted to have raised so much money this year from the sponsorship. It will all benefit local causes. It is lovely to see so many people of all ages swimming together, and having so much fun.” In the event each team gets one lane to swim in a relay for 50 minutes. There is a maximum of 6 swimmers per team. Rotarians count the number of lengths for each team and display the number so swimmers and spectators can see how many lengths are being achieved.

On the Sunday all six lanes of the pool were used every hour. The Rotarians were very pleased with this turn out of swimmers. On the Saturday a few team dropped out at the last minute and lanes were empty, which was disappointing and frustrating.

One local primary school has been a big supporter of the event. Market Harborough Church of England Primary School entered 9 teams this year; teams of pupils, former pupils, teachers and parents. Hazel Stephens, organiser at the school said “The children love it, and so do I. We have swum every year with old and new swimmers. We have also applied for grants previously and received awards for the school library, the Peace Garden and other things. It is good to be able to tell the parents that that the school benefits from the SwiMarathon, as well as having fun actually swimming.”

The Harborough Netball league managed to "fill the pool" for the second year in successon. That is they had 6 teams all swimming at the same time, so using all 6 lanes of the pool. This set up a healthy rivalry. A spokesperson said “Our teams all did brilliantly. It was great. I would like to thank all our swimmers and helpers for taking part, and thank the Rotary Club for organising it all. It was very well organised.  We would like thank the Rotarians for a fantastically organised event yet again. All our swimmers were buzzing tonight."

A swimmer in the team from MH Parkrun, named Team Sharkrun, said "It was even better than I expected. Team mates swam last year and said it was good, so I joined in this year. They were right. The friendly atmosphere, lots of people swimming together, the great music and the excellent organisation makes it fun for everyone."

After their swim each swimmer gets a certificate with a photo of their team, endorsed by Rotary, and all the business sponsors, and thanking them for swimming. This is presented by the President of the Rotary Club, this year Jim Davies. He said “Everybody enjoyed the event and many want to come back next year, and bring more friends. They really liked the certificates. I enjoyed seeing so many happy swimmers.”  

Many of the swim teams were those who had swum in previous SwiMarathons, which shows how enjoyable it is. Newcomers in 2017 included teams from Market Harborough Golf Club, Beanfield primary school and Welland Valley Triathlon Club. President Jim said "We are pleased that so many swim teams come back again, but it would be even better to get more new teams next year. Any age, any ability, any number up to 6 in each team. Come and join us on the first weekend in March 2017." The SwiMarathon is not an endurance event. Each team of up to 6 people get one lane to swim in relay for 50 minutes.

Harborough FM radio were at the poolside providing good music for the swimmers and crowds, together with live commentary on the numbers of lengths each team was swimming.

Rotarians of the Market Harborough Club, assisted by members of Inner Wheel, ran the event.  

The Rotary Club is very grateful to the business sponsors:  

Andrew Granger & Co, Angel Hotel, Brooke House College, Duncan Murray Wines, ET Peirson, e.surv Chartered Surveyors, Harborough FM Radio, Harborough Leisure Centre, Harborough Mail, Jet Pumps UK Ltd, JG Health and Fitness, Lewingtons Heating Engineers, Mistry's Pharmacy, Parr Automotive, PJD - design and print, J Stamp & Sons - Funerals Directors, Stephen Sanderson Transport Ltd, Tim Thornton Jewellers, Town and Country Veterinary practice, Walker Forestry Conservation, Wartnaby - Hefford Solicitors.

Awards for the teams who swam most lengths, had the best team name, and raised most money will be given out at a special event on June 12th. Also at that event the local grants from the money raised will be given out.

 For more information about Rotary see our Rotary Club website

President for SwiMarathon 2016

Les Dodd