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Channel swim of a lifetime is joy Pendle mum
A PENDLE mum-of-two has fulfilled a lifetime ambition of swimming the English Channel.
Jo Norton-Barker, 42, of Ambleside Avenue, Barnoldswick, did the swim in 16hr 54min raising almost £1,000 for research into Fibromyalgia after a close friend was struck down by the condition which causes pain all over the body.
Jo belongs to the British Long Distance Swimming Association and Warrington Dolphins and previously swam Windermere.
She said: “It is the culmination of a lifelong ambition after I read about Captain Webb, the first person to swim the channel, when I was small.”
With family in friends in a pilot vessel beside her, Jo battled the tide to achieve her goal on July 25. She described the feeling of arriving at Wissant, about 12 miles from Calais, as ‘the best in the world’.
Jo, a systems accountant, said: “I might not have got a gold medal, but it feels like one to me. When I felt the sand under my feet, it was just the best feeling in the world. I jumped up and down screaming, and scared an old French lady walking her dog!
“I had to swim for over four hours just to keep my position because I caught the outgoing tide on the French side of the channel.
“I started to doubt myself at one point and then my support swimmer Michaela Richard jumped in to help. I had some advice as well not to look forward, not to look back, just swim.
“I’ve had a fantastic support crew, I couldn’t have done it without them.
To sponsor Jo, visit www. justgiving.com/swim4fibro.