Two intrepid swimming coaches are taking part in their greatest challenge yet, to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Water Aid.
Although Christine Howson (58) from Ormiston and Saartje Drijver (47) of North Berwick have competed in triathlons and other events, they are now putting their skills to the ultimate test by swimming from one side of Scotland to the other.
The intrepid pair are more than halfway through their coast to coast Shin Swim challenge, which has raised more than £3,000 for the two charities so far.
This challenge was Christine’s ambition, having always wondered if it would be possible to swim from one side of the country to another.
She was spurred on by having faced two bouts of ovarian cancer in the last six years and was also inspired by comedian David Walliams’ charity swim along the Thames.
The challenge will take the two women, who are members of East Lothian Triathlon Club and coaches with swimming clubs in Tranent and North Berwick, from Laxford Bridge in the north west of Scotland to Bonar Bridge on the east coast.
Christine and Saartje finished the first leg of their journey on 11 August and have made their way from the sea across six lochs as far as Lairg, cycling between when necessary.
Saartje said they could not have managed without the help of their support team of family and friends.
She added: “I did not realise how much of a team event it would be.
“It was not just Christine and I doing the swim but everyone had a part to play in making the event happen.”
They are planning to swim the remaining 30 kilometres on the weekend of 14 September, which will take them from Lairg to Bonar Bridge via the River Shin. Go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ShinSwim to donate.