AN ACCIDENTAL trip west instead of east along the John Muir Way did not stop the chairman of Tranent Amateur Swimming Club from completing a 26-mile walk dressed as a giant baby.

Adrian Bayne walked from the Forth Bridges at South Queensferry to the Lidl car park in Prestonpans on Saturday, where he then enjoyed a swim in the Forth with other swimming club members.

He was raising money for both the club and Teenage Cancer Trust, splitting all funds raised 50:50.

Train driver Adrian left South Queensferry at about 8am and arrived at his final destination at about 5.30pm.

Adrian, who recently joined community radio station Radio Saltire, said: “It went really well – though I managed to get lost despite following a map! I was walking west instead of east for a while.

“You can easily get confused or lost if you miss one of the signs along the John Muir Way. Thankfully, that was the only issue of the day.

“Everyone that said they were going to come along did so. We had about 20 kids and their parents join later on and for the swim at the end.

“The club’s head coach Ross Mathieson joined at [Edinburgh’s] Fountain Park and [coach] Julia Taylor and her husband Jonathan joined at Brunstane Burn.

“I was amazed after I had completed it because my feet were torn apart after about 17 miles; I’d hit a brick wall.

“Ross being there was such good support as well.

“When I got to the Lagoons [in Musselburgh], my feet were in agony.

“Getting to the end was an amazing feeling, as was getting into the water. I felt the effects of it, though. Three days later my feet were still sore.”

Adrian, 47, has doubled his initial £500 target, with more than £1,300 raised so far, which he described as “incredible”.

Speaking on how difficult the past 18 months had been for Tranent Amateur Swimming Club, Adrian said: “The club relies on swimming galas. We try and hold two every year but haven’t been able to hold a single one for almost two years.

“It’s about getting the kids in the water for competitions.

“We get money from them too that can help keep the club going through the year.

“So not being able to hold any, we have had to rely on the club’s own funds. We’re trying to keep the kids’ payments at a reasonable amount.

“The Tranent and Prestonpans area is described as a deprived area, despite all of the new houses being built, and we are fully aware of that. It is important that we keep our prices as low as we can.

“The fundraiser was an idea to keep the club going in the short term. Hopefully we can host a gala soon: one isn’t planned but we are hoping to host a club competition in October and, hopefully very soon, a grade four gala.

“It gets the kids competing again as they’re not getting that just now. Some kids joined us during the pandemic and have not been to a competition yet,. We need to get them back into that.”

Ross Mathieson, the club’s head coach, added: “It was a huge challenge and never once in the 26 miles did Adrian complain, as he was so keen to support and raise money for the club and Teenage Cancer Trust.

“To me, that shows the type of person Adrian is.

“In the short time he’s been chairperson, he’s put so much time and effort into guiding us through this pandemic and supporting our swimmers.

“We’re very lucky and proud to have him leading the club.”

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