The Breca Buttermere swimrun: gruelling challenges in gorgeous scenery

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From the first bracing swim to the final climb home, this Cumbrian adventure was, in equal measure, exhausting and exhilarating

Running along the narrow Lakeland ridge through horizontal rain and strong winds, we attempted to keep warm by pulling on our swimming hats and goggles. Across the skyline, figures in wetsuits and bright yellow bibs could be seen scrambling over rocks, while beneath us a lone couple was hurtling down the fellside, pull buoys and hand paddles flappin…