It’s Lake or Break for Rob
Snooker MC Rob Walker is swimming 10 kilometres – that’s 400 lengths of a normal swimming pool – this Bank Holiday Monday to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
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The 40-year-old may have run five marathons and completed the last of those in under three hours. But he will, literally, be going into unchartered water when he attempts the biggest athletic challenge of his life at Dorney Lake in Windsor.
“I’ve done a lot of running over the years but had a few injuries recently so when I turned 40 I decided to take on a swimming challenge instead,” said Rob. “There are various races at Dorney Lake ranging from 1km to 10km, but I wanted to take on the toughest one. It’s four laps of the Olympic rowing course and it’s going to take around four hours. That’s a long time in the water. I’ve never attempted anything more than 5km before – and that was very tough. The first time I did it, I was so thirsty at the end that within ten minutes I drank a litre of water. When I speak to experienced swimmers and tell them what I’m doing, they tend to raise an eyebrow, because not many people do the 10km. To be honest, if I make it they might have to pull me out of the lake at the end.
“Part of the challenge is getting enough food and drink on board during the race, otherwise you can just grind to a halt. I’ve been advised that warm powdered semolina is the best thing to eat in terms of providing energy. There will be floating pontoons which you can lean against to take in food. Just in case I do get into trouble, there will be safety measures like kayaks floating around, so if you are struggling you put your arm up and they will pull you out.
“There are two causes I’m raising month for. One is a Motor Neurone disease charity. My mentor in my early career was a guy called Martin Webster, he was a producer for the BBC and he came from Sheffield. He died of the disease in 2011. The other one is Neurocare, a Sheffield-based charity which I am a patron of.”