42 Years of National Championship Swimming

42 Years of National Championship Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In 1972 Glen Christiansen swam his first Swedish national swimming championship race in the City of Borås. He surprised himself and made the finals in the 100m breaststroke as a 15-year-old.

Dial forward 20 years and the Swedish championships were held in Borås again. “I made a comeback and almost made the final in the 100m breaststroke as a 35-year-old. So I have very good memories from this city.”

Dial forward another 2 decades and age stared Christiansen square in the face. “You’re too old,” was not the answer.

Open water swimming was his answer.

Looking at the schedule and the qualifying times, I realised that I am probably too much off in the breaststroke, BUT then I saw that this year the 5000-meter open water race would be included. I decided to give it a go. Why not?!?

Swimming and qualifing for the Swedish national championship from 1972 to 2014 – a span of 42 years. “I could have made it easier on myself by swimming the Masters national championship that took place on the same day three hours earlier in the same place and over 2500m. But I wanted a real challenge with something I have never done: 5000 meters and something that no one else has ever done: compete in a Swedish national swimming championships at the age of 57.”

Christiansen competed in the 5 km race that was held in the middle of the City in the canal. “It was beautiful with the water at 16.2°C.” His official time was 50 minutes 49 seconds that placed him 16th. “I am really happy with the time and the race. I felt strong all the way. Just the legs started to cramp the last 1000m. But it was all fine.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones