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Splash hits.

Byline: James Johnston

Two senior citizens have shown they are young at heart.

Pensioner Doris Perley swam a staggering 1,700 metres in an hour to raise money for her local community.

While Merlyn Hannant, 73, scooped third place in a national competition for over-70s.

Doris, 75, of Greenway, Ingleby Barwick, took part in the sponsored swim against the clock at a pool in Stockton.

Money raised will be spent on the Ingleby Barwick Residents' Network Christmas Gala.

Doris, a retired teacher with ten grandchildren, said: "I managed to raise about pounds 250, which will go towards the party for local children and residents.

"I usually go swimming for half an hour every morning to stay fit."

Meanwhile Merlyn, from Newton Aycliffe, triumphed over 500 other super seniors to take third place for the title of the UK's Healthiest 70-Something.

The competition, run by probiotic drink makers Yakult, saw contestants compete in a series of challenges designed to test mind, body and spirit.

These included current number craze SuDoku, the ancient Chinese puzzle "Tangrams" and an extensive general knowledge test, as well as BMI and lung capacity tests.

Merlyn, who works out with weights three times a week, impressed the judges with her overall level of health and attitude to life.

"I was really pleased to come third, especially after knowing 500 people had entered," she said. "The final 12 had a real get up and go attitude and I had a great time competing against them."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 5, 2005
Words:247
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