Borders couple make a splash for cash and raise £600 through charity challenge
A Jedburgh couple have completed a challenge to do 365 outdoor swims over the course of 2019, raising more than £600 for charity.
Mike and Lilian Patterson-Murray dived into that year-long challenge on January 1, 2019, when, spurred on by friends and family, they blew away any Hogmanay hangovers with a dip in the sea at Aberdour.
Since then Lilian, 49, a nurse practitioner based at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose, and Mike, 48 also a nurse, with the hospital to home team, have swum outdoors every day, or doubled up every second day, in different lochs, lakes and seas across the region and country.
“We both do outdoor swimming anyway,” Lilian said.
“We thought this would be a good way to get out and do something every day.
“We were obviously hungover on January 1 when we started it. We went to Aberdour beach near Dunfermline that day with some family and stuck with it consistently after that.
“It’s been quite tough fitting it in between shifts sometimes. We are a bit crazy really.”
Taking to the pond near their Swinside home, the pair, forgoing wetsuits in favour of swimming costumes, built up their resistance to the cold water during the dark winter mornings and nights until they were able to enjoy longer 45-minute swims at water near Cauldshiels and Lindean come the summertime.
“We were going to the pond behind our house most evenings and doing a couple of lengths of that even when it was -9C and we had to break the ice to get in,” Lillian added.
The couple support Marie Curie as a charity close to their hearts, with Mike having lost his late wife to cancer and Lilian also having lost close friends to the illness.
“Initially, we weren’t doing the swim challenge to raise money but friends said we should so we chose Marie Curie again and set a £365 target. That’s now sitting at £606, though, and we are realy pleased with that.”
Despite their challenge being over, the pair dived straight into 2020 with a New Year’s Day dip at Bamburgh in Northumberland.
In 2018, they raised £9,00