Twenty-year-old Sheffield University graduate, George Taplin has become the first person to complete the gruelling 13 Lakes Challenge in just three days—swimming some 71km across all of the publicly accessible lakes in the Lake District.The competitive triathlete and distance swimmer set off on July 28 with a windy 17Km swim on Lake Windemere (England’s longest), finishing the record-breaking feat just three days later on the scenic shores of Derwent Waters having raised £4,275 for the international development charity, Just a Drop.

George, who hails from Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire, is no stranger to long distance fundraising swims. In 2017, he and his father Ian Taplin undertook a 13km swim across Lake Geneva from Switzerland to France also to help raise money for Just a Drop. But the 13 Lakes Challenge is by far the most demanding endeavour he has tackled to date.

“During the final few kilometres I managed to block out the muscle fatigue and tendon stress and just enjoyed the evening sunset swim,” said an elated George. “It was an overwhelming feeling to see the end of the final lake come into view.  Swim complete,” he added.

As far as records show, George is the first swimmer to have completed the challenge in three days and he credits his support team of his parents and girlfriend for helping to make it all possible.

“Whilst the swim had been a huge physical demand for me it was only one component of the successful outcome. My parents and girlfriend had to endure 300 miles of travelling, 6am starts, 9pm finishes, support kayaking and delivering thousands of calories of food to the lake shore; it really bought home the fact that these types of endurance challenges are never a solo effort and require a committed and enthusiastic team around you,” he said.

“The Lake District provided an incredible setting for this marathon swim challenge which I hope will finally raise £2000 for Just a Drop. I encourage anyone to take up their own adventure challenge for charity, in whatever form that may be. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in a wild new environment and also have the opportunity to raise some money for a good cause.”

The recent Ecology and Conservation Biology graduate, said he chose to raise money for Just a Drop as his course work highlighted the growing issue of water scarcity in a warming and increasingly populated world.

George's brilliant efforts were reported by BBC Breakfast on 9th August 2020, you can see the video here:

Check  @lakesswim2020 on Instagram for photos and videos from the swim