Pocklington woman’s first place in gruelling swimrun

Abey Lawrence is greeted by her son Jake after finishing the race.
Abey Lawrence is greeted by her son Jake after finishing the race.

A Pocklington-based endurance runner was part of a local all-girl team which took first place in a gruelling national swimrun race.

The team smashed the demanding Breca Buttermere race to take first place among the women’s teams.

Abey Lawrence, 35, along with Robyn Hawxby, 42, who hails from York, finished the epic event in just seven hours, 11 minutes and 50 seconds.

The race is set in the Lake District and took in a total of 1,900m ascent including the inhospitable Honister Pass.

It is a non-stop race encompassing 38km of trail running and 6km of swimming, so the pair had to run in their wetsuits and swim in their trainers.

They came 17th overall, out of the 100 teams competing. Only 79 of the 100 managed to complete the race at all in conditions which alternated between sunshine, rain, wind and icy hail.

Abey, a physiotherapist at the Pocklington-based Hands That Heal Clinic, is passionate about helping others stay as fit and well as possible, and likes to inspire them by pushing her own limits in multi sports events.

This is the first time she has taken part in a Swimrun race. These wild and extremely challenging events are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK and originate from Sweden, where they are known as ‘Ötillö’ or ‘island hopping’.

Abey, who lives in Pocklington, is married to Mark and they have two children – Jake, 4, and Samuel, 1.

She said: “It was an awesome race, I feel very privileged to have been allowed and able to compete in such a beautiful isolated environment. Conditions were less than ideal but it was a truly epic day out if a little painful in the later stages.

“A massive thanks to the organisers and marshals, who also braved the elements to enable us to race.”

Abey’s son Jake and the rest of the family were there to greet her proudly at the finish line.

Abey has been a physiotherapist for over a decade and specialises in musculoskeletal and orthopaedic disorders, including sports injuries. She is also an athlete – running for York Knavesmire Harriers and competing in triathlons with York Triathlon Club.

She loves longer distance events and has represented the Great Britain Triathlon Age Group Team on a number of occasions.