Husband and wife, Jo and Alex Lawrence, will be among many teams to cross the finish line of the new Great SwimRun event in June, but the achievement will be all the more special for them as it will also mark the end of Joanna's treatment for breast cancer after her diagnosis at the beginning of last year.

The couple, who married ten years ago at the Low Wood Bay Hotel where the event takes place, will be heading back to the Lake District to take on the off-road running and swimming 10K adventure as a team.

Jo and Alex were planning a trip to New Zealand when they found out about her illness and since then she has endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Throughout this time the couple have focussed on staying optimistic and upbeat.

Alex said, “This will be a great experience for us, we haven't really taken on anything like this together before.

“We did the Shine Night Walk in London in September, which was tough, as Jo had been quite unwell due to the radiotherapy. It was very inspiring to see her complete a 13-mile challenge  - her determination is incredible.

“We've started to train by taking long walks on the South Downs near our home to build up to the event and we'll start stepping this up soon.

“Jo has taken on the Great North Swim before, but she's the fish, a very natural swimmer. It's not my favourite form of exercise but I'm hoping she'll get us through that part and I can help with the running.

“We're not super sporty people but we're really looking forward to saying ‘we did it' and there will definitely be a bottle of champagne at the end!”

The couple will be raising money for Macmillan as Jo explained,  “Macmillan have been a fantastic support throughout my cancer treatment, and completing the SwimRun for them is just our small way of saying thanks.

“At the end of the day, if I can do this, then anyone can, so I would encourage everyone to sign up now, and let's see who can get to the bar first!”

To donate to Alex and Jo's fundraising effort visit

For more information or to enter the Great SwimRun