THE BLUE OUTBACK
INTERVIEW WITH IAN McNAMARA
AUSTRALIA ALL OVER
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2016, 7.15am
WALKING FROM MANLY TO SHELLY BEACH FOR START OF COLE CLASSIC
Macca: On the line is our swimming correspondent, Kieran Kelly. Good morning Kieran.
Good morning Ian. How are you?
Macca: Ah good. Mate where are you? Tell everybody.
I’m just down at Manly walking towards Shelly Beach for the start of the 5 km Cole Classic.
Macca: The Cole Classic. That’s on. How many people will be in that Kieran?
Probably about 2,500 Ian, over all the events. There’s the 5km swim, which is the smaller event, and they also have a 1km and a 2km. So it’ll be several thousand people.
Macca: Wow. Now Kieran you’re using this as training for your big swim a little later, in a month or two?
Yes, it’s training for our swim in a couple of months from Palm Beach to Manly, which is about 30 kms.
Macca: Have you been in the Cole classic before and swum in it?
I used to go in it every year. This is my first crack at the 5km swim. I used to go in the 2Km every year. It’s almost a community event down here in Manly and you get all sorts of people going in it and it’s quite fun. People in the 5K take it a bit more seriously. I’m swimming today for a bet and it’s one of the strangest bets that anyone’s ever had.
Macca: Tell me! Can you tell me?
Yeah I can. One of the swimmers from the Balmoral Beach Club, Alison Maunder, who’s a pretty handy swimmer over this distance and she said, `Kieran we’ve gotta have a bet.’ And I said, `Well people have a bet for five dollars or a bottle of wine. What about that?’ And she said, `No, this’s gotta be for a bottle of Kefir.’
Macca: A whatta?
Kefir. You don’t know what Kefir is do you?
Alison’s a nutritionist so she’s very interested in people’s health. We used to milk every day Ian when I was a kid and when the milk went sour we used to pitch it out. Mum would throw it out. Nowadays, they put it in a very fancy plastic bottle with a label on the front, saying Kefir and sell it in health food stores for $15 a litre, because it’s good for the bacterial situation in your stomach. But my mother would say, `Kieran, look, you can put it in a bottle and call it Kefir, but it’s still sour milk.
It’s actually fermented cow’s milk, Ian. So I’m out here turning myself inside out and getting eaten by the sharks so I can win a litre of stale milk. I don’t know how life ever got this strange.
Macca: So what time does your swim start Kieran?
Macca: Quarter to eight
I reckon I’ll be finished by 9:15, God willing.
Macca: Have you noticed any of the boys from the Brighton Beach club in Victoria there this morning?
I haven’t. I’m just walking up to the start line now. Everyone is just warming up. This is going to be an interesting race for some people because you have to swim well outside the shark net at Manly. We start here at Shelly Beach and we swim straight across to Freshwater Point and around a big box and come back and you’re about 100 metres outside the shark net and that’s the big wilderness. I often say there are two Australian Outbacks: the big red outback when you cross the North Bourke bridge and go over the Darling River. That’s the red outback and the blue outback is when you go over the shark net at Manly. You’re outside and in the wilderness. Some of these people won’t have been out beyond the shark net and to see it sliding by underneath you, and see the floats 10 or 15 feet below the water and the big cable that holds it up, it’s quite an eerie feeling. It’s like leaving Fort Laramie and going out into Cheyenne country, I think.
Macca: Now, I know when you are doing your other swim on your own, you have some little things trailing for sharks, do they have this on this swim?
No. No, the theory is there is enough commotion in the water, even though you’re out beyond the shark net, there is enough commotion so that the sharks won’t interfere with the people in the race.
Macca: Oh dear.
That’s the theory. I hope it’s true.
Macca: Yeah well I hope it’s true too, Kieran Kelly. Now when you finish this, how long will it take you?
Well I’d like to get in in under an hour and a half, if I could but it might be somewhere between an hour and a half an hour 40 minutes. Conditions are a bit rough.
Macca: Yeah and that’s the trouble. Which way do you turn your head, to the left or the right?
Both. I do both.
Macca: Both. Well you’ll probably have to if it’s coming in that way. Kieran, when you have finished this you are going away next week skiing again aren’t you?
Yeah, I am. My first skiing trip since I broke my leg.
Macca: To where? Where are you going?
To Montana and then to Sun Valley in Idaho.
Macca: And then you’re coming back and then doing the swim from Palm Beach to Manly?
That’s the plan.
Macca: Well, good luck and good luck today Kieran. I won’t ask you to ring us during the swim.
No I can’t do that. I’ll have my mind on other things like; this is the race I don’t want to win because I’ll be presented with a stale bottle of milk at the end of it. So I hope I lose.
Macca: A stale bottle of milk. What’s it called?
Kefir. I bet there’s a heap of your listeners probably take it every day Ian. In fact I do so I shouldn’t criticise it. I take it every day.
Macca: Alright. Okay. Kieran, good luck mate and nice to talk to you. I hope I catch up with you sooner or later. Give us a ring from the ski fields too.
Ok thanks very much Ian.
Macca: Good onya mate. Bye