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Get involved with the Lakes to London virtual challenge

Join Her Spirit’s six-week virtual challenge by swimming any distance between 1km and 500km and help raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Now.

‘Lakes to London’ is a six-week virtual challenge, taking place between 21 August – 2 October 2022. The inclusive event invites participants to accumulate any distance between 1km and 500km with a mix of swimming, cycling, running and walking (or just one of these activities).

Two leading organisations in women’s sport – Her Spirit and Fearless Women – have announced they are partnering for the challenge, with an ambition to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Now.

All in one go

The virtual challenge mirrors an in-person version as Her Spirit co-founders Holly Woodford and Mel Berry join Her Spirit community member Sarah Williams on a mission to swim, cycle and run 500km non-stop between the Lake District and London. 

On Friday 30 September, following a 5km swim across Lake Windermere, the trio will cycle 453km to London before running the London Marathon (26.2 miles/42km) on Sunday 2 October. Along the way, four times Olympian and Breast Cancer Now ambassador Donna Fraser OBE will join them, leading a breast cancer relay team. 

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could attempt to swim 5km, cycle 453km and run 42km – over the six weeks, in one week or a single day. Or simply swim, run or cycle a distance that suits your capacity and fitness level and add it to the community’s grand total. However you choose to partake in the event, you will earn rewards and help raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Now.

A personal and collective challenge

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. One in seven women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Now believes that they can change the future of breast cancer and make sure that, by 2050, everyone diagnosed with the disease lives – and is supported to live well. 

“I lost a friend to breast cancer a few years ago and I saw first-hand the impact it had on her family and friends,” says Her Spirit co-founder Holly Woodford. “Mel, my co-founder, and I are passionate about supporting women to achieve goals they never thought possible. We hope this challenge will bring us all together to raise awareness and vital funds to help beat breast cancer by 2050.”

Sign up to the challenge via the Lakes to London website. Read more about open water swimming challenges via our news page.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.