Sports

Chilly Judith swims Loch Lomond twice.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Chilly Judith swims Loch Lomond twice. thumbnail Judith Campbell swimming her way into history.

JUDITH Campbell achieved an amazing feat of endurance last week. Then the Warrenpoint lady, a part of the aptly named Chillymcfillies, a four strong ladies' team, swam twice the length of Scotland's Loch Lomond.

The so-determined international quartet of Judith, representing Ireland, joined Jackie Eccleston (Wales), Colleen Blair (Scotland), and Carol Lordy (England), in completing the mammoth 80-kilometre swim. Incidentally Carol Lordy was a stand-in for Chris who broke her arm just a week before the challenge.

Each girl swam for an hour at a time and the four brave ladies finished in 30 hours 39 minutes. The water temperature was 15 degrees during the day but dropped to 12 or 13 degrees in the evening and night. The Chillymcfillies were the first four-person, all female team to swim Loch Lomond both ways.

And in fact they did negative splits, being nine minutes quicker over the second leg. And after the swim the British Long Distance Association ratified their achievement as being a World Record.

Speaking to the Democrat Judith, who by her efforts raised over 3000 for Cancer Research UK, said: "It was hard and cold but mentally I was in a good place and with the support of my man Gary, I can do anything. He was on the boat and it was brilliant having him share the journey. He gave me great support, as did the other girls.

"It's amazing what you can put your body through and I think it's even more amazing what your mind can tell your body to do when your body is telling you it has had enough.

"The third hour was the hardest as my shoulder was sore and my hands were starting to swell but then I began thinking of my daddy (Phil Campbell) who is unwell and thinking of him helped me a lot. I was doing it for him.

"The night swims were amazing. We swam by the light of the moon. The water was scary; inky black but clean and pure. It was crazy but brilliant.

"The facebook messages were so emotional and I would like to thank everyone for those messages.

Also I would like to thank everyone for their generous donations," said Judith.

Gary said: "What can I say about the chillymcfillies, Judith, Jackie, Colleen and Carol, brought together by team captain Chris Sifleet? "They are a truly amazing group of girls. It was unreal to watch. They got in and out of the water no bother, knowing how cold it was. I would let each of them know every half hour before they had to get back in and all they would say was: 'No not me again,' but by the time I said 'Ok, five minutes' they were ready every time. Unbelievable achievement.

"To watch them all swim the length of Loch Lomond and then turn around and watch them swim back (through the night with only moonlight to guide the way) faster than they swam the first half, was truly astonishing.

"Being on a boat with four ladies swimming for 30 hours 39 minutes is an experience I'll never forget.

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. And I am so proud of my girl Juds" Gary concluded: "I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting the chillymcfillies through their journey. And I would further like to thank all who donated on the chillymcfillies page to Cancer Research UK and sent such amazing messages of support and encouragement. Judith was truly overwhelmed.

I watched the girls read these messages on the boat and I can tell you how much it meant to them; it really pushed them through the water." After finishing the monster swim and on the way home through Scotland, Judith was in high spirits as she told the Democrat: "I have two swollen hands but I feel so good."

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