Auckland swimmer swaps Pacific for lake
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.