A Rotorua woman who has worked hard to overcome her long-term fear of water is set to take part in the inaugural Legend of the Lake.

Kaye King, 58, began learning to swim last March, determined to overcome her fear of water.

She said as a child she never had the opportunity to swim so was always afraid of the water.

In December she entered the Taupo Half Ironman which included a 2km swim.

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She said she found learning to swim hard but kept persevering.

"It took me months just to be able to swim a length of the pool without stopping to take a breath."

Mrs King recommended others learn to swim.

"I've spoken to some friends who can't swim and said anything is possible.

"If that's what you want to do nothing can stop you."

She said she had done very little preparation in the past couple of weeks as she had been on holiday in the South Island, but knew it was a matter of concentrating when getting into the water and getting into a rhythm. However, she did do the 2km Blue Lake multi-series swim and the sprint triathlon with a 750m swim during Auckland Anniversary weekend.

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New Zealand Ocean Swim Series event organiser Scott Rice said Mrs King's participation in the Legend of the Lake was a testament to her courage.

"Well done to Kaye and I look forward to welcoming her across the finish line."

Mrs King will be taking part in the 1000m "Step It Up" swim.

The Legend of the Lake will take place at the Tikitapu (Blue Lake) this Sunday at 10am.

It is the fifth event in the seven swim NZ Ocean Swim Series.

Other distances at the Legend of the Lake include the 300m Give it a Go, the 3.5km I'm Going Long and for youngsters there is the 200m OceanKids event.

- For more information or to register for the series, visit www.oceanswim.co.nz.