Dad smashes charity target and comes fourth in Great North Swim

Craig Oliver with his daughter Millie at the Great North Swim.
Craig Oliver with his daughter Millie at the Great North Swim.

A new dad has completed a 5k open water swim race for charity- coming fourth out of a staggering 4,000 people.

Craig Oliver, of Sibsey Northlands, took part in the Great North Swim in the Lake District on Friday to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Watched by his proud wife Nicola and baby daughter 
Millie, he was the fourth fastest to complete the three-mile swim – beating 3,996 people to the position.

Being an experienced swimmer who represented his country 10 years’ ago - Craig was all set for an overall win. However, a problem with his wetsuit hampered his efforts to hit the top spot.

“I had a bit of an issue at the start as my wetsuit kept chaffing against my neck so I had to stop a few times,” said Craig, 32. “I think if it hadn’t have been for that problem I would have won it.”

Despite staying active, Craig hadn’t swum competitively for 10 years - so he met up with his ex swim coach Tim Westlake to get prepared.

“We hadn’t seen each other in 15 years but got together to train again in October last year - and he did the swim with me on the day,” Craig said.

The open water swim took place in Lake Windermere and Craig said the conditions were perfect: “The weather was great and the water wasn’t too cold.”

Craig has so far smashed his fundraising target of £150 - his success and determination helping to boost it to £677.

He chose the charity as it is ‘close to his heart’ and, being a new dad, said being in a position to help out other children is very important to him.

“I just thought I’ve got this talent, I may as well do some good with it,” he added.

“I now plan to do a similar charity swim taking place in Nottingham on July 24. I will raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital again.”

To sponsor Craig and boost his total visit www.justgiving.com/Craig-Oliver1983/