Something of the schedule of an aspiring Sepik Ironman

May 5, 2011 at 8:30 am (Commentary, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Ironman, Sir Ernest Spender, Wewak)

I was asked to check out the progress of a competitor in the Sepik Ironman swim to be held in Wewak early next month, by a member of the Ironman Committee. This was to be a discreet enquiry, and even though I was given his name, I was not to publicly reveal his identity.

He is training at a university aquatic centre under the direct supervision of Sir Ernest Spender, formerly of the British Army, PNG Public Service, New Age guru, and now a Herbalife distributor. Sir Ernest’s training methods owe a lot to the late Professor Frank Cotton, a man in whom Ernest himself received much of his knowledge of physiology.

The swimmer, whose name I’m not at liberty to reveal, is a tall, lean man, in the peak of physicial condition, and watching him going through his paces I can only say: move over Thorpey! His 500 m freestyle is breathtaking.

After his training spin,  I discussed and interviewed Ernest and the swimmer. Apparently he’s on a daily training schedule, and on a strict diet, which, from what I can gather, consists mainly of wara Sepik or Sepik River water, and kango or water cress from the Sepik River. He drinks 8 pints of Sepik water and eats masses of  kango. Ernest sees that he gets ample amounts of Herbalife.

It’s amazing to watch him in the pool. He shows a unique ability to accelerate, and his mental strength and general techniques are extraordinary. He puts these mainly down to the example of Mao Zedong and Adrian Bird, two great and noble swimmers from the past, and conquerors of two mighty rivers: the Yangtze and the Sepik.

What a treat the people of Wewak and visitors to the town will have when they see this swimmer compete in the Ironman Swim. I, myself, can hardly wait as I’ll be in Wewak to see the event. It’s very unfortunate, but it seems that Sir Ernest won’t be able to make it.

The only sad thing that I can see coming from the Ironman Swim is that all other swimmers, apart from the swimmer, will be shown to be completely out of his league, but excellence is not to be frowned on!

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