Marathon swimmer Warren Keegan braved brisk water conditions in Canberra to take out the 9km Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim on December 1. He bettered his second place finish from last year and set a new course record, shaving three minutes off the previous best, to finish in 1.54.07. It was the 10th anniversary of the swim, which takes competitors across the entire length of Lake Burleigh Griffin from Scrivener Dam in the west to Grivella Park in the east. They swim past icons of Canberra including Government House, the old and new parliaments, the National Museum, National Library, National Gallery and High Court. There was not any pause in the action to admire the view, however, with a tough tussle underway at the head of the swim. On his way to the win, Warren collected new records for the first and third legs of the race (at 19.43 and 38 minutes). His new course record was for all-comers and for men (under 50s) wearing a wetsuit. A report from the event from organisers stated Warren looked smooth and controlled the whole way through. The temperatures saw some swimming without wetsuits struggle to keep warm. Warren said this year’s race was held in “English Channel-style race conditions”, with the water temperature between 16 and 17 degrees and the air temperature only in the low teens (12-13 degrees). The race for line honours was a battle between Warren and national open water swimmer Jessica Traficante.
From the starter’s gun Jessica, a former race winner and record holder, went out hard and by the first check point had managed to cement a 20 second lead over the chasing swimmers. This included last year’s winner and another course record holder, Oliver Bourne. “At this stage I knew that I just had to keep to my race plan and if I stayed patient, I had a good chance of catching Jessica later in the race,” Warren said. The middle part of the race saw Warren bridge the gap and start to challenge Jessica for the lead. The lead then see-sawed back and forth between the pair of duelling swimmers. It was in the final leg that Warren finally managed to draw away, striding up the beach to claim line honours, one minute and 20 seconds clear. “It’s always nice to get the win but I was more pleased to see some good signs of fitness so early in the season,” he said.
Source: Great Lakes Advocate