Romantic end to swim challenge

ROMANCE: Alister proposing to his girlfriend Dawn after his swim.

ROMANCE: Alister proposing to his girlfriend Dawn after his swim.

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A SWIMMING enthusiast finished a 17-hour challenge by proposing to his girlfriend.

Alister Stocks, who has already swum the English Channel, decided to take on Loch Lomond in Scotland, which was the only UK long-distance challenge he had not completed.

And at the end he went down on one shivering knee to propose to his girlfriend, Dawn Rigby.

Alister, of Greenfields, Heckmondwike, said: “There was only one more long distance swim in the UK that I had not done – the notoriously difficult length of Loch Lomond, 21.5 miles of icy water, to be swum through the night.

“Very early into the swim I got bad cramp in both legs, but managed to swim on and push through.

“The British Long Distance Swimming Association said out of the 10 starters, all finishers would be inside the top 50 swimmers in the world to complete Loch Lomond.

“But that wasn’t my only motivation. Two weeks earlier I had bought an engagement ring for my girlfriend, Dawn, and with a successful swim I planned to propose to her.

“The ring was travelling down the loch with me in the crew’s rowing boat, but I daren’t tell anyone until I knew that I would complete the swim.

“Her response was, ‘Oh my God, he’s gone delirious now’!”

But happily Dawn said yes – and Alistair’s swim raised £750 for cancer research.