The average age of the 160 entries in the swim last Saturday was 46. This ranged from the youngest swimmer at 13 (Neddie Irwin – third overall and first person home in togs) to the oldest at 70 (Mr. Harris!). At the front of the pack on the day, James Mintern, age 16, led the field home. With young athletes like that, how the hell could the average age of the top three men still be about 33 years?
Well, it’s this guy’s fault – at double the combined age of the other two – he came in fifth overall and third of the men.
Ned Denison (aged 13 & 1/2 years but 58 according to his birth cert) is an international legend and a mainstay of all open water swimming in Cork. The entries opened for our swim last April and for three days we had only one entrant – Ned. He asks people to enter early for all swims – he acts accordingly.
He’s an unstoppable force, but to give everyone else a chance we did try to implement a handicapping system to slow him down. Didn’t work.
Everyone knows he’s a bad sport, of course. Never encourages other swimmers, always thinking of himself. Prostrating himself in front of Neddie Irwin at the finish while shouting “All hail the new king!” is a good example of that failure to think of others 🙂
He was just biding his time, though. As soon as he could, Ned showed Neddie who was boss. What a bad sport. Great shot, though.
The young ‘uns might have taken him in calm seas on Saturday, but if there had been a bit more “texture on the water” as Ned likes to say, who’d bet against him? Age really is just a number.