River swimmer completes epic Nene challenge

Lisa Ryan during her swim
Lisa Ryan during her swim

A woman swam the length of the River Nene so she could travel to the other side of the world to help others get in the water.

Lisa Ryan (47) from Werrington, Peterborough took nine days to swim the 65.6 miles from Northampton to the Dog in a Doublet - dodging locks, swans and other obstacles on the way, the route is the navigable length of the river.

Lisa, a swimming teacher who works in Stamford, was raising money for two causes - Peterborough Deaf Children’s Society, and for her trip to Swaziland in Africa in November, where she will spend 19 days teaching people to swim.

Lisa said: “It’s not something I’m planning on doing again soon. Six miles is known as a swimmers marathon for a reason.

“I swim in the river all year, and a coupe of years ago swam the river from Oundle to Ferry Meadows in a day, but I have never done a multi-day event before.

“It was a case of keeping on going, and then the next day getting up and doing it again.

“Problems I met on the way included weeds, swans and climbing out for locks.

“I had to make sure as far as possible I was not out on my own to keep safe.

“I also wore a swim bag, not only to keep my kit in, but also so boats could see me.

“My personal trainer paddle boarded with me past Charters in Peterborough, and kept the swans away.

“The weather was very good - it rained and was a bit windy one day,but the rest of the time it played ball, which was a real boost.

“Other than one stretch the water quality in the Nene is very good - at times it was crystal clear.”

Each day Lisa swam up to 10 miles, finally crossing the finish line on August 13,

Lisa raised £1,323 which will be split between the causes .

She said:” I’ve no plans for this year, but am thinking of doing something next year - maybe not in the Nene, as I feel like having swam it already, I kind of own it.”

To donate to Lisa’s causes, you can email her at swim.stamford@1life.co.uk