Mark Lewis, owner of Hadley Park House Hotel, Telford is embarking on something of a challenge having decided to swim the equivalent of the UK’s longest river, the River Severn, in aid of the Severn Hospice and Anthony Nolan charities.
In Mark’s own words, he described the incentive to undertake such a challenge after something of a ‘mid-life crisis’ whereby he decided to take stock of things. “My father had a heart attack at 52 and I knew that I needed to do something positive as basically I was an accident waiting to happen. I started out back in July and joined a local slimming club which helped to kick start things. I wanted to inspire other family members so decided to balance the healthy eating with regular exercise and started swimming.”
“With the swimming, I set myself several challenges along the way, but I wanted a really big challenge to give me an ongoing incentive. Swimming the equivalent of the River Severn seemed an obvious choice, after all, it is the longest river in the UK. But, I wanted to give something back so have decided to swim for charity. The Severn Hospice seemed the perfect fit – not just the Severn connection but the fact that they so such fantastic work for local people. I have decided to split any sponsorship between the Severn Hospice and Anthony Nolan who also do phenomenal work.”
Mark is completing the challenge in a local swimming baths and is tracking his journey via the Swim Fit Challenge website, but plans to tackle open water once he reaches the Telford area. Mark is, as described by fellow colleagues ‘shrinking away’ having already lost 5 stone, with an additional 2 stone target.
Looking forward, Mark confides that his next ambition is to swim in open water and has set his sights on tackling the Channel.