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Five fitness fans heading to Hampstead on next leg of charity lido tour

PUBLISHED: 18:56 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:56 22 August 2017

The ladies ready themselves for a dip in Tooting Bec lido. L-R Charlotte Duff, Diane Wesson, Fiona Mackenzie, Sally King and Cathy Woodall. Picture: Fiona Kingston

The ladies ready themselves for a dip in Tooting Bec lido. L-R Charlotte Duff, Diane Wesson, Fiona Mackenzie, Sally King and Cathy Woodall. Picture: Fiona Kingston

Archant

A team of fitness fanatics on a sponsored bike ride to the capital’s lidos is heading to one of London’s best-loved swims - Hampstead ponds.

The ladies at Parliament Hill lido. L-R Diane Wesson, Fiona Mackenzie, Sally King, Charlotte Duff and Cathy Woodall. Picture: Fiona KingstonThe ladies at Parliament Hill lido. L-R Diane Wesson, Fiona Mackenzie, Sally King, Charlotte Duff and Cathy Woodall. Picture: Fiona Kingston

The five women who are all in their 50s plan to swim the mixed and ladies ponds on Tuesday, aiming to raise £2,000 for the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher.

Group member Sally King came up with idea last December inviting four friends, who already enjoyed cycling together, to take part in the challenge.

Lido fan Fiona Mackenzie explained: “We would cycle every weekend, but this has more purpose to it.”

Since coming up with the idea, Sally and the ladies – teacher Diane Wesson, speech therapist Cathy Woodall, web designer Charlotte Duff and free lance journalist Fiona – have cycled from their Teddington homes to lidos in Parliament Hill, Park Hill and Covent Garden.

In total they plan to visit about 13 of the capital’s outdoor pools by September when many start to close.

Speaking about the Hampstead trip, Charlotte Duff said: “It’s something we’ve always wanted to have a go at. We’ve seen the ponds in movies and books.

“It’s an exciting adventure,” she added.

Commenting on a trip to Parliament Hill lido, Fiona said: “It’s an amazing swimming pool. It’s absolutely gorgeous. To get there we cycled up Highgate West Hill and that, whilst exciting, was a true test of stamina.

“Once you get over the cold water, it’s actually very invigorating. You come out feeling very alive. It’s totally different to a swimming baths. It’s a different kind of person who swims in an outdoor pool. There’s a nice sense of community,” she added.

To reach their destinations the five can cycle up to 45 miles in all weathers, swimming up to 900m on arrival, with some lidos letting them in for free, refuelling with carrot cake and chocolate brownies before the return ride home.

So far the quintet has raised just over £1,500 on their Cycle-Lido challenge.

“Our children are quietly impressed. At first they just ignored it, but they’re starting to realise it’s quite good what we’ve done and I do get the occasional well done now,” Fiona joked.

“We love the cycling and the swimming. We’re doing this to show people you can push yourself further than you think and have a lot of fun as well,” she added.

To donate visit Justgiving.

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