Rachael Hunt is swimming one million metres this year – an average of 3km per day – to fundraise for Panathlon.

Rachael’s heroic year-long odyssey is part of what she calls a “long and interesting fitness journey” which saw her lose 10 stone.

The idea for her challenge began when Rachael was having physio for an injury at Panathlon’s sponsors Carter and George (co-founded by Rhys Carter and England rugby union captain Jamie George). They told her about the Panathlon team taking part in Swim Serpentine event in London’s Hyde Park.

Rachael signed up, but her injury prevented her from taking part (and the event was postponed anyway due to the Queen’s funeral). Nonetheless, she was determined to “fulfil my commitment and set myself a challenge.”

She came up with the idea to swim one million metres and started on 1 January. As of mid-March she was bang on 230,000m – only slightly behind schedule. Within the million metres, she has set herself a target of doing 50 ‘marathon’ (10km) swims. So far she has done 12 – each taking around four hours. “I’m a slow but very committed swimmer,” she laughs.

The overall distance will be mostly be swum in her local pool in Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, but will also include some outdoor swims. The distance will be calculated by Strava via her Garmin watch.

Rachael’s dedication to the challenge comes from her love of swimming, which was kindled during a period of her life where she lost a huge amount of weight and discovered “the joy of movement.”

“It opened my eyes to how wonderful life can be if you move,” she says. “I think we’re all extraordinary and it’s about finding something in you that you really enjoy. It’s not about winning, it’s about the effect moving has on your mind and your whole life. That’s why Panathlon appealed to me so much as a charity.”

Support Rachael’s quest to swim one million metres in 2024 for Panathlon here.