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Swimmer takes the plunge for the millionth metre
1:00pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
A GREAT Sankey man will soon hit the one million metre mark at Penketh Pool after learning to swim at the Honiton Way centre five years ago.
The former Penketh High pupil will reach the milestone during training for the World Championship Triathlon next month on the London 2012 course where he will be rubbing shoulders with Olympic champions.
But it all could have been a different story if one of the tutors at the centre had not tapped on the 52-year-old’s window and invited him inside.
Chris said: “I had a spinal injury in 2001 and my physiotherapist kept telling me swimming would help but I hadn’t told her I couldn’t swim and I was scared of water.
“I eventually drove to the pool for a lesson but when I got to the car park I was just about to turn back when a woman tapped on my window and asked ‘Are you Chris? I’m the swimming teacher’.
“It’s been a virtuous circle since then with one good thing after another but none of it would have been possible without that first lesson.”
Thanks to the support of staff at the centre, Chris swam his first mile after a few months and then decided to buy a bike and start training for triathlons.
Since then the super athlete has also swum to Alcatraz to mark his 50th birthday two years ago, was invited to take part in Formula One star Jenson Button’s triathlon and came third in his age group during the London triathlon this year to qualify for the World Championships.
Chris, who is at the centre three or four times a week and juggles training around his part time customer services manager job at United Utilities, has had every metre recorded at Penketh Pool by a special GPS watch and predicts he should hit the million mark in the first week of September.
New swimming lessons will be starting at the centre on September 9 and no doubt instructors will be using million metre man Chris as new pupils’ inspiration.
He added: “I still occasionally have to pinch myself.
“I know every inch of that pool and it can get monotonous but it’s the end goal that keeps me going.
“I have put the hard work in so I’m feeling confident about the World Championships and I’m really excited about completing the Olympic course.”
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