Swimmer completes 13 lakes in three days

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George Taplin

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George swam a total of 43 miles (70km) in three days

An ecology graduate has set a new record of swimming the lengths of 13 Lake District lakes in three days.

George Taplin, 20, from Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire, swam a total of 43 miles (70km) during his challenge.

He wore four different wetsuits to prevent contaminating certain lakes with algae from others.

His challenge raised almost £2,000 for Just A Drop, a global charity seeking to provide safe and sustainable water to communities.

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George Taplin

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George Taplin was raising money for Just A Drop

Mr Taplin started in England’s largest lake, Windermere, and finished in Derwent Water where friends presented him with a celebratory broccoli, his favourite vegetable.

Water temperatures varied between 12C and 14C, for which he practised by taking cold showers, and he said his favourite lake was Wastwater due to its “incredible visibility”.

“It was the coldest but the clearest”, he said.

Mr Taplin, who recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in ecology and conservation biology, said: “Setting out with these types of challenges, you never know what elements you may come across.

“It’s been incredible though and finishing was a fantastic feeling.”

His attempt was inspired by adventurer Matt Williams, who spent 10 days walking between and swimming the lakes.

The 13 lakes Mr Taplin swam were:

  • Windermere
  • Coniston Water
  • Wastwater
  • Crummock Water
  • Buttermere
  • Bassenthwaite
  • Ullswater
  • Brotherswater
  • Elter Water
  • Grasmere
  • Rydal Water
  • Derwent Water

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George Taplin

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George Taplin was supported by friends and family throughout his challenge

Mr Taplin has been swimming since the age of five and when he was 16 had a trial for the Rio Olympics in the 400m freestyle.

But he said he wanted to focus on distance and endurance instead of speed.

“I started doing open water swimming with my dad and when I was going quite slowly I felt I could go forever,” he said.

“It made me curious as to how far I actually could go.”

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George Taplin

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Water temperatures ranged from 12C to 14C

His first long distance swim began one morning at Henley on the Thames and ended 10 hours and 40km later at Windsor.

He is now planning to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.

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