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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbrian woman completes round Britain swim - in one pool

It was an emotional day for swimmer Gay Eastoe as she finally completed the mammoth fundraising challenge she started more than two decades ago.

Gay Eastoe photo
Gay Eastoe

For the past 24 years, the mum-of-four has headed to her local pool to swim the equivalent of the UK coastline, raising a whopping £44,000 along the way.

And yesterday the 60-year-old from Woodend, in Egremont, put in her final lengths at Copeland Pool in Hensingham to complete the 6,824 mile challenge – equivalent to 439,466 lengths in a 25m pool.

But it has been no easy feat for Gay, as she has a type of autism – Asperger Syndrome – which affects the way a person communicates with others.

It means she has a fear of people’s faces and when she catches a glimpse of a face while in the pool, it causes her to hyperventilate and have a panic attack.

The elated swimmer told the News & Star: “The challenge has not really been difficult in terms of fitness but my Asperger Syndrome has been a problem at times. I am pleased to have reached my goal.”

Alan Burns, manager at Copeland Pool, said: “Gay’s an inspiration. It has been a pleasure having her and we’re very proud she did it here.”

The money will be donated to West Cumbria Hospice at Home. To support Gay go to justgiving.com/gay-eastoe

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