Scientist crosses land and water on 175-mile challenge to raise cash for mental health charity

Janette Cordwell from Heath Charnock will be cycling 100 miles; walking 30 miles; swimming 21 miles; rowing 21 miles and a 5k run.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:39 pm
Janet Cordwell has set herself a charity challenge

In her youth, Janette, who is an applications scientist at Lubrizol, in Blackley, was a county-level swimmer but these days happily admits to being an exercise-phobe.

She is aiming to complete all her challenges to raise funds for mental health charity MIND. before June 9, her 50th birthday.

She said: “Those who know me well, know that I really loathe cycling, running comes a pretty close second in the misery stakes, rowing is something I haven’t done much of – co-ordination isn’t really my thing – and swimming caused most of my teenage injuries.

“Going for a walk in the wild has been my salvation this last year – but I really don’t do towns and cities.

"So, in order to extract maximum money from my colleague’s pockets, I have pledged 175 miles.

"I must be a glutton for punishment.”

Janette’s feat is part of an Olympic-sized charity challenge being undertaken by Lubrizol staff across the UK.

Colleagues are being encouraged to swim, run and race almost 6,000 miles – the distance between the UK and Japan, where the Olympics are scheduled to be held.

Working out how to timetable her pledged distances will be part of the test for Janette.

In April, she completed the walking by stepping out for a mile every day at lunchtime and this month she has been taking on the swimming challenge.

The cycling was undertaken on a static exercise bike in April, while she plans to finish off the epic feat in the early part of June by rowing 21 miles on a machine.

Despite not enjoying exercise, Janette is no stranger to charity challenges having previously walked from Leeds to Liverpool along the canal, in aid of a local heritage society.

Janette added: “I have been lucky that through lockdown I have had my family around, but a lot of people have really struggled.

“We should never underestimate the impact of boredom and loneliness particularly for the youngest and oldest people in our communities.

“MIND provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.”

To support Janette’s efforts, visit