No rest for Norfolk dynamo

If anyone deserves a rest it is Rose Levien - on Saturday she swam the English Channel just a month after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

If anyone deserves a rest it is Rose Levien - on Saturday she swam the English Channel just a month after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

But the 26-year-old Norfolk dynamo is not putting her feet up but rather planning her next trial, swimming the shark infested straits of San Francisco bay to the notorious Alcatraz prison.

Miss Levien bested 21 miles of cold grey water across the channel in an impressive 13 hours and 22 minutes.

During the swim she overcame sea sicknesses, crossed the wake of giant tankers and ran smack into a jellyfish but said the hardest part was shaking off the crippling frustration that set in after 11 hours after leaving Dover.

“At first I was so happy, this was a day I had been preparing for for 18 months and setting off into the sea I felt like I was suddenly free after all that preparation.

“But after 11 hours I still could not see France and I was constantly asking 'Are we getting there?'.”

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Supporting Miss Levien were her parents Charles and Judy - who live in Foulsham - friends and a channel swim official, who travelled in an accompanying boat and provided her with regular feeds of stamina boosting carbohydrate drink.

Born in Norwich and brought up in Stibbard, near Fakenham, she swam for Dereham Otters and in the days before swimming the channel received a message of support from Ivan Cane, her former swimming teacher from Fakenham High School.

In 2002 Miss Levien moved to London to be an events co-ordinator for The Children's Society and she will set off at the end of October to take part in the Alcatraz swim.

Her sponsored swim of the channel has so far raised about £3,000 of her £5,000 target for a children's charity in Zimbabwe, which helps the vulnerable and orphaned.

* To sponsor Miss Levien make cheques payable to One Width Challenge and send them to Manor Farmhouse, Reepham Road, Foulsham, Norfolk NR20 5PP

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