Courageous Christine To Swim Around Alcatraz

Wimbledon woman aims to raise £5,000

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Brave Wimbledon fund-raiser Christine Bertram is to swim around notorious Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco as part of a punishing triathlon.

Christine (right), aged 36, from Durnsford Road, will be taking part in the punishing Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 5.

The once-in-a-lifetime challenge will see Christine swim 1.5 miles through the choppy seas surrounding the infamous jail.

She will then cycle 18 miles through the steep streets of San Francisco and run seven miles on and off road, including climbing the 400-step Baker Beach sand ladder.

This is despite the fact that Christine has never swum in the sea before, because of a phobia of open water. In fact the furthest she has ever swum is 750m – significantly less than the triathlon swim! "This is one of the biggest sporting challenges I have ever taken on," said Christine. "I'm especially nervous about the swim, but the excitement and anticipation of the challenge far outweighs this."

Christine will be raising money for a campaign newly-launched by the Epsom-based MERU charity: The Bugzi Project. Fronted by Top Gear star Richard Hammond, it aims to raise £100,000 to create a fleet of 20 Bugzi wheelchairs, designed by MERU for disabled children under five.

Bugzi gives young children with severe physical disabilities the chance to be independently mobile, helping them develop a wide range of essential life skills. The Bugzi Project will fund the manufacture of the Bugzies, and a scheme to loan them free of charge to disabled youngsters. When the child outgrows their Bugzi, it will be returned to MERU to be made ready for another child.

Christine is aiming to raise £5,000, which will get one Bugzi on the road. "I chose to support MERU and The Bugzi Project when I heard of the fantastic work they were doing with Team Laws, a father and son triathlon team," she added. "Their work enabled Ewan, age three, who has severe cerebral palsy, to join his dad on triathlons. This really inspired me to support their brilliant work."

To back Christine, visit her fund-raising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChristineBertram.

May 25, 2011