SIX friends have raised thousands of pounds for charity after taking part in an epic bike/ swim challenge.

The group cycled 75 miles and swam in seven lakes en route to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Cockermouth area reporter Tracy Walker organised the event and was delighted to be supported by five friends: Ruth Noonan, who runs Cockermouth Pilates Studio, speech and language therapist Rachel Wilson, former Keswick GP Jo Grove, Lakes Distillery tour guide Amanda Graham and Sellafield systems engineer Jane Knowles.

They set off from Pardshaw, near Cockermouth, and headed over Fang’s Brow before having their first swim in Loweswater.

In each lake they swam at least 100 metres.

Their swimsuits were rinsed between each lake by the support team – made up of Tracy’s daughters, Bramble and Millie, who kept everyone fed and watered.

The group went on to Crummock, Buttermere, over Honister Pass, and down the Borrowdale Valley before swimming in Derwent Water. The final three lakes were Grasmere, Rydal and Bassenthwaite.

They were delighted to raise more than £3,500 for Cancer Research UK.

“Every day in the UK 1,000 families’ lives are turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis,” said Tracy.

“I wanted to raise funds for research and came up with the route while out cycling during lockdown.”

During the winter, many of the team had taken to swimming in the lakes.

“I swam every day in December – in a swimsuit and woolly hat,” said Tracy. “Various hardy souls joined me, which was great. So I wanted swimming to be part of the challenge.”

The team was blessed with good weather during their 10-hour challenge.

“There was a major downpour at one point but otherwise we were incredibly lucky to have warm, windless weather,” said Tracy.

“It was a grand day out and we are so pleased to have raised so much for Cancer Research UK. Any donations are hugely appreciated.”

To sponsor them, go to: