Long-distance charity swim marks 16th birthday
Felicity Lowen celebrated her 16th birthday in an unusual way - she swam 640 laps.
The Cashmere High School pupil spent 4 hours swimming 16 kilometres to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.
Felicity said she was shattered. "I'm usually a sprinter so long distance was a challenge for me."
She said she first had the idea on her 15th birthday when a member of her swim club swam 18km to mark his 18th birthday.
Felicity did not leave the pool at any point and the longest break she took was two minutes.
"I swam the last 1.5km flat out because it was the home stretch and I just wanted to finish."
She said raising money for charity was important to her and she felt "exhausted but proud" of her achievement. "I've been through a lot this year with family issues . . . and I'm so glad I spent my birthday doing something other than for myself."
Felicity's father, Martin, died in January when his plane crashed into trees and burst into flames in Springfield Rd and her grandmother died of cancer about a month ago.
Felicity had raised more than $1000. People can donate via the Child Cancer Foundation website.