Wānaka Sun       

Meg on track to complete Hāwea leg of swim

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 31 Dec, 2020 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Boosting her energy with gummy snakes and slurps of hot chocolate every so often, Dunedin schoolgirl swimmer Meg McLaughlan is right now ticking off the kilometres and long hours in her epic swim of Lake Hāwea and Lake Wānaka to raise money for the Otago and Southland branch of the Cancer Society.

 

Having raised $3,700 so far through her givealittle page, she's pleased with her efforts to swim 23 kilometres of her first lake challenge, and “actually quite enjoying it.” At time of writing, she had 10 more kilometres of Hāwea to swim on Tuesday, and then would pack up the support crew and move to Lake Wānaka for the next phase of her swim, all going well from Wednesday December 30.

 

More used to swimming laps of Moana Pool in Dunedin, and finding the headwind on Hāwea on Saturday more difficult, she likes that she has scenery to look at as she swims, can see how far she is getting, and that she is swimming for a great cause.

 

“When it was windy I just put my head down and kept going. It's hard but it's good,” she said.

 

As for the water temperature, compared to the balmy climes of the pool: “It's not too bad! I thought it would be colder. I got in and it was cold, but then I just got used to it,” she said.

 

But it helps to be wearing a wetsuit – although this has provided her main source of pain so far. The wetsuit chafed around her neck and the only thing that helped was lots of tape wrapped around this part of her body.

 

Her swim is a real family affair – with her dad kayaking alongside, and her mum “on food” in the support boat driven by her brother. Meg hopes to have her epic swim finished by January 1. She is looking forward to not having to get up at just past 4am to be in the water by 5am.

 

“I'm looking forward to a good sleep at the end,” she said.

 

Meg said cancer is a disease that affects most people in some shape or form, including her Aunt about ten years ago, so the cause was well worth the effort.

 

Read edition 1007 of the Wānaka Sun here. 

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