2013 Allum won’t be caught in Flannagan wake

New Plymouth’s Keith Allum has the jump on most in the Flannagan Cup open water swim.
And rightly so. As the oldest competitor in the 3.6km swim, the 73-year-old will start near the front of the 67-strong field at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu Beach this morning.
“I just plod along near the front. My standard 2.5km per hour … totally predictable,” Allum said yesterday.
“I swim four or five times a week. When it warms up, I’m at Ngamotu Beach, otherwise I’m at the pool. Ngamotu Beach is a great asset. It’s the only safe beach for miles around.”
Allum said his swim sessions were usually an hour-that’s how he knows his time.
“Fifty lengths is 2.5km, 60 lengths is 3km. An hour’s swim is 2.5km.” Allum has competed in the Flannagan Cup for at least 10 years.
“I used to do marathons-I did 34 of them-but basically gave that up.
“Swimming is great for all ages, it’s easier on the body. The young ones have an advantage with muscle to weight ratio. As you get older, it gets harder, no doubt about that.”
Allum also competes in the national open water swim series.
“I did the Auckland Harbour crossing before Christmas and two weeks ago I did the Wellington open swim. I really enjoy the ocean swim series, they’re excellent.”