Does anyone know where I can find a purple wetsuit?

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By Marissa Stewart | Friday 28 March 2014

One of the best things about my job is putting together Alzheimer’s Research UK’s newsletter think. I get to hear about all the amazing things our fundraisers are doing to defeat dementia – everything from throwing themselves out of planes to knitting scarves while running marathons. It’s seriously inspiring stuff. So, in a fit of optimism or madness (various friends and relations are debating which), I’ve signed up for the Great East Swim to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.


The challenge

The Great East Swim is a one mile event in open water at the Alton Water Reservoir in Ipswich. This water is, despite the event being held in June, going to be cold. Cold enough to require a wetsuit.

The fear

And there’s much more to be scared of than just how unflattering the wetsuit is going to be… You see, I’m not really that sporty. When I first signed up, swimming a mere pool length in crawl actually made me feel like my lungs were about to explode. And to be honest, I’m not really that great with cold either.

The champions

To put my challenge into perspective, here are just some of the fabulous fundraiser’s stories we’ve featured in think;

  • Michael Fishwick’s Long Haul tractor drive from Orkney to Land’s End
  • Our Big Walkers, who tramped nine miles for dementia research
  • Susie Hewer’s award-winning fundraising, well deserved since she knits while running marathons!
  • Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker’s treks up Mount Everest and to the South Pole.

And while our fundraisers’ exploits fill me with admiration, they also push me on. If they can do all that to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, surely I can splash around in some cold water for an hour? So I asked myself, what would our fundraisers do? The answer is clear. Go for it, and go purple.

The plan

Step 1 is obviously to recruit a purple army. Three of us from Alzheimer’s Research UK (and counting!) will be taking the plunge in the Great East Swim. It’s great to know I’ll have some company in the water, and our combined friends and family back on dry land to cheer us on.

Step 2 is to find a purple wetsuit. In case anyone’s ever tried this, you do get some rather odd results when you put ‘purple wetsuit’ into Google…

The search

Right now, I’m pulling together the next edition of our newsletter think which will be out in May. I’m excited about the latest news we’ve got to share with our wonderful supporters. I hope you’ll check it out and be as amazed by our intrepid fundraisers as I am. Maybe, like me, they’ll inspire you to do a Great Swim, organise a bake sale or just put on your trainers and head for a run.

And in the meantime, if anyone has any recommendations for where I can find a purple wetsuit, let me know!

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About the author

Marissa Stewart