My name is Rupert Allhusen and I’ll be 40 years old when I swim the channel in September 2020. I have enjoyed all sports since I could walk and hold a ball and have always enjoyed swimming ever since donning my first pair of armbands.
Sport, especially rugby, was massive for me during my school day, but coming from Devon the ocean was never too far away and always somewhere I loved visiting for a paddle at first and then later on as I grew up somewhere to swim and explore. I’m not sure during these days if I ever considered swimming the channel, far too big and far too cold!
After school and while at Brunel University, I joined Richmond Rugby Club and have played for them since 1999, earning over 150 1st XV caps and most recently touring with the Richmond Heavies to Argentina before my swim training stepped up over the past 12 months.
Following a 4 year teaching career, I spent a year studying at Oxford University earning a Rugby blue in 2007 before embarking on a career in the Insurance industry.
I work in the London Insurance market for the White Bear Group after more than 10 years with Talbot Underwriting in Lloyd’s of London.
Over the past 10 years, mainly since hanging up the rugby boots and having had a family, swimming has become my focus and turning from a prop forward to a long distance swimmer has been fairly easy, which comes as quite a shock to some!
I became involved with all the annual Outdoor Swimming Society open water swim events from the Dart10K, the Bantham Swoosh 6K and also the Hurly Burly 10K up in Snowdonia. Over these years my times have improved and so too has the number of people I have roped into joining my love of swimming. Please note that these open water events aren’t competitive but being a true sportsman the competition is often with yourself.
I think it was around 2016 I started to harbour the desire to swim the channel but the dream has only really presented itself in the last 12 months and I’ve taken it on and am thoroughly looking forward to it!
Swim Training for the Channel
During the Covid 19 chaos I have spent most of the time swimming when not working from home or home-schooling my 3 children.
Prior to lockdown, since the start of 2020 I had swum 166K, since then I have been swimming against a large bungy cord in the swimming pool of generous neighbours!
During these bungy cord swims of between 1 and 6 hours staring at the same blue tiles, boredom set in quick but recently this has been eased by the purchase of some underwater headphones! And to date I’m well over 350K but whilst pools are good for training, the ocean and particular the ocean temperature and taste is what I needed to tune into!
My sea training restarted as the lockdown eased in June with me spending weekends on the Dorset coast swimming for 4 to 6 hours in the cool and crisp ocean partnered by my good friend, Ben Leigh, on a paddle board.
The ocean and some local lakes are to be my training grounds now as I build towards September (previously August) and take on swimming the channel.
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