Auck­land swim­mer swaps Pa­cific for lake

Central Leader - - SPORT - CA­TRIN OWEN

Pauline Mills is swap­ping the Waitem­ata Har­bour for the cold tem­per­a­tures of Lake Win­der­mere.

For her next ad­ven­ture the 60-year-old swim­mer from Glen­dowie is tak­ing to the English wa­ters for a cause close to home.

In 2015 her hus­band Wayne An­nan suf­fered a heart at­tack after tak­ing a dip in the ocean.

‘‘We’d just fin­ished a long swim from Okahu Bay to St He­liers and we’d got out and changed and were hav­ing cof­fee, he went all pale and didn’t look right,’’ Mills says.

Mills got him in the car and took him straight to White Cross Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

‘‘He knew and I knew he was hav­ing a heart at­tack but we didn’t say any­thing to each other.’’

An­nan was ad­mit­ted to Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal where he stayed for a week.

He re­cov­ered quickly but he has been told to take it easy.

This means he won’t be com­plet­ing the swim with his wife, but he will kayak along­side her in sup­port.

‘‘I think be­cause he’s been ac­tive all his life, the doc­tors said if he hadn’t been so fit he would have died,’’ Mills says.

An­nan learned to swim later on in his life and has com­pleted Iron­mans and triathlons so is train­ing Mills hard.

Lake Win­der­mere is the largest lake in Eng­land and is just over 16 kilo­me­tres long. Mills will be one of 130 swim­mers brav­ing the icy tem­per­a­tures.

An­nan has been train­ing her hard in the pool and she has com­pleted a cou­ple of train­ing swims in Lake Taupo.

‘‘Once you start swimming you’re fine but I hope to fin­ish it in seven hours, but to be hon­est I just re­ally want to fin­ish it.’’

Mills will be the old­est fe­male com­plet­ing the swim and the only one brav­ing the wa­ter with­out a wet­suit.

She will also com­plete other train­ing swims around the United King­dom to pre­pare her­self in­clud­ing the Great Scot­tish Swim and the Big Bru­tal Swim in Wales.

Mills is do­ing the swim to raise money for The Heart Foun­da­tion to thank them for the sup­port they gave her and An­nan.

Car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease is still the lead­ing cause of death in New Zealand and ac­counts for 30 per cent of deaths an­nu­ally.

Visit givealit­tle.co.nz to fol­low Mills’ progress and to do­nate to the Heart Foun­da­tion.

Pauline Mills (left) is swimming over 16 kilo­me­tres to raise money for the Heart Foun­da­tion.

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