Event report from Caroline Makin
The annual Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims offer three options: 500m, 2.5km and 5km and are intended as true tests of swimming ability and skill, for swimmers not wearing wetsuits. This year’s event was staged on Sunday 20 February 2011 at Yarralumla Bay.
A field of over 90 competitors turned out to challenge mind and body over respective distances of 5km, 2.5km and 500m. The races started at 8.30am in the glorious sunshine, although the wind picked up and meant somewhat choppy conditions towards the latter stages of the longer races. It proved to be a very successful morning in the lake by the mighty Vikings!!!
Greg Gourley was the first Viking to set off on the 5km swim, and whilst all the other Vikings swam their respective races, Greg ploughed through the water, doing two loops of the 2.5k circuit, returning home in a time of 1:35:21 to the lake shore, finishing in 3rd place in the Male 50-59 category and 6th Male overall out of 16 competitors.
Next, the five Vikings ladies — Anne Smyth, Jeanette Droop, Caroline Makin, Suzie Gunning and Kristen Leydon — set off on the 2.5km swim.
Anne Smyth led out the Viking ladies in the 2.5km swim, returning home in a time of 41:06, finishing in 1st place in the Female 50-59 category and 2nd Female overall out of 21competitors, only to be beaten by a 20-something year old triathlete!
After the swim, Anne commented that it was just like a pool swim, except that she got a bit lost in and couldn’t find Black Mountain Peninsula in her sighting, and didn’t realise it was actually there until she rounded the buoy right next to it!
Jeanette Droop completed the 2.5km swim (almost entirely without goggles!) in a time of 43:22, finishing in 2nd place in the Female Under 50 category and 3rd Female overall out of 21 competitors.
After the swim, Jeanette made a couple of recommendations …. Don’t start from the middle of the pack, too many feet splashing in your face, and remember to wear goggles that are not too dark and that you can see out of! Jeanette commented that she was pleased that the water was a perfect temperature — not a cold patch anywhere — and no weeds around the legs — all in all, a great morning of swimming.
Caroline Makin was only a short way behind Jeanette, managing to complete the 2.5km swim in a time of 44:24, finishing in 3rd place in the Female Under 50 category and 4th Female overall out of 21 competitors.
Caroline’s feeling on the morning’s swimming were initially, what an early start! Nothing new there for a person that does not like mornings!! It as a little winder than often at that time in the morning around the lake, but sunny thankfully … the lake certainly was not like glass on this late summer’s morning!
Caroline commented that her swim went well, she kept herself out of trouble until the last buoy at about 300m to go, where she was neck and neck with another female competitor who was cutting in on her as she approached the inflatable buoy — the other swimmer managed to get just half a body length ahead as she went past the buoy and with the wake that hit the buoy, Caroline ended up swimming right into it with her left arm, getting tangled up in the rope and the buoy ending up on top of her head! Anyway, that was it, after untangling herself, determined as ever, Caroline decided to push on hard, and sighting the finishing buoy with about 150m to go, put in a good sprint home, kicking hard, and giving it her best effort, she neared the finish buoy with a good feeling she was now just ahead of her competitor. Caroline stood up and realised she was definitely in front and ran out of the water and up to the finish line, ending up 6 seconds ahead of her closed rival on the day!
Suzie Gunning came home in the 2.5km swim in a time of 48:10, finishing in 7th place in the Female Under 50 category and 9th Female overall out of 21 competitors.
Kristen Leydon, newbie Masters swimmer, did us proud bringing the Viking ladies contingent home to the lake shore in the 2.5km swim in a time of 55:43, finishing in 14th place in the Female Under 50 category and 17th Female overall.
Kristen reflected on her swim saying that she really enjoyed it — plodding along slowly and she was happily surprised she wasn’t last (or maybe it was that the swimmers behind her were the 5km swimmers close enough to lap her!?!). She also commented on the great Vikings cheer squad cheering as she crossed the finish line which was the highlight of the day. After she finished, Kristen said she ate a heap of pancakes as the poor 5km swimmers were still completing their final lap and that she’d love to work up to a 5km open water swim.
Whilst the rest of the Vikings were already on their trek around the 5km and 2.5km swim circuits, our other two male Vikings, David Bale and Bill Eversham, set off on the 500m sprint race course.
David Bale entered the 500m sprint swim with a view to a podium finish, and succeeded in his aim, taking out 1st place overall out of 12 male competitors. David started out strongly leading to the first turning buoy. He extended his lead as the race continued and was 25m in front by the final turning buoy. With his usual sprint finish David exited the water first, 45 seconds in front of the second place getter in a time of 8:45.
Bill Eversham, another newbie Masters swimmer, took on the challenge of his first open water event in the 500m sprint swim, completing the swim in a time of 14:01. Great effort Bill 🙂
Some of the Vikings Masters ‘team’ with their trophies.
You can read the full official race report on the Sri Chinmoy website, along with full results by age category from each of the 3 distances, and take a look at the photo album from the morning’s action.