Vlad, Vikings and Victory

1 Dec

I did it! In just under 3 ½ hours. One of the toughest things I have ever done.

Not so brass monkies. No black swans or blue-green algae. Black dog vanguished.

No bunyip sighting BUT as we loobed up at the start an eerie sound echoed across the damn wall reminiscent of a dinosaur struggling to come to terms with a bereavement or with a serious case of constipation[1]. ‘What’s that terrible noise?’ I asked Nic, Gill’s kayaker. ‘Oh, it’s the bunyip’ he said and I looked at him in horror. But after the noise came again, he smiled at me and said ‘or maybe, it’s something to do with the zoo…’ which happens to be right near the damn.

Sri talking heads

Talking Heads (Photo: Sri Chinmoy)

I was a reluctant starter in so many ways. We had to hold onto the boom by the damn. The boom consisted of yellow ball floats and being the last one in to the water (almost), I was surprised when the boom started talking as I couldn’t distinguish the ball floats from my fellow yellow hatted solo swimmers.

And then we were off, slicing through the brown ripples and shadows. Our poor paddlers had to ‘pick us up’. Not as chaotic as the tales of Cott to Rott and people with Cat in the Hat hats and other distinguishing headgear but Nic did later remark that a mishap was happily avoided after a novice kayaker set off with his paddle back to front. The small field quickly spread out and left me almost the back marker with just Craig and his aptly named Mirage and my chattering monkey for company.

But I wasn’t quite the back marker. I had a merry tussle with team 200+ and their octogenarian anchor man Geoff Llewellyn who has participated in all bar one race since inception and who probably still holds some course records. And former Viking swim team member, triathlete, xterra and Nowra Mud Muster veteran Sharon Patrick was hot on my tail. In fact, there were Vikings everywhere entreating us to ‘take a liking for a Viking’. I did. Last, consistent with the Norse theme, was a Vlad swimmer. Like me, this was the first time he had swum more than 5km and I heard Vlad coach Jai at the start asking the awgies not to pull him out if he wasn’t making the cut off times (actually, we were both way inside them). At least, this was the first time he had swum more than 5km using this particular stroke; he has, so it seems actually swum the English Channel in a six man relay using a ‘normal’ stroke. Eli Ball swam the whole 9km race butterfly. Yes, bonkers.

All in all, it was a capital swim! Full report and great photos at http://au.srichinmoyraces.org/sri-chinmoy-national-capital-swim#event-results-section

LBG 9km course

[1] Funny that because there is a theory that the dinosaurs became extinct because they were constipated


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