Hundreds of swimmers took to the open water for the tenth annual Epic Swim on Lake Taupo last weekend, among them were Wanaka Swim Club coach Camille Gulick and squad member Emily Heath, 15.
Heath and Gulick, who are also members of the Wanaka Lake Swimmers Club, put in strong swims in the three races which make up the Epic Epic challenge over the weekend. The 17.5km swim is raced over 24 hours, with competitors swimming the 10km Epic race followed by the 2.5km Epic race on day one and then swimming the 5km Epic race on day two. The combined time of all three races determine the leaderboard.
Heath said she felt a bit daunted on Sunday morning before the 5km Epic race.
“My arms were sore but I was excited,” she said. As it turned out, that it was her favourite swim of the weekend.
Heath was the third fastest female overall with a combined time from the three races of 5:00:01, and Gulick was the fourth fastest female overall with a combined time of 5:06:24.
Gulick topped her age group category, winning the 10km and 2.5km races and placing second in the 5km race. Heath was placed second in her age group, placing third in the 10km, fourth in the 5km race and 13th in the 2.5km race.
It was Heath’s first time competing in the Epic but the teenager is no stranger to open water swimming, having taken on The Ruby and Challenge Wanaka Half swim twice before. Heath will compete in the Lake Wanaka events again this year, as well as in the new 2km Auckland harbour crossing event in April.