Gorgeous blue skies marked Stage Two of the Highland Lakes Challenge, a five-day open water swimming stage race held near Austin, Texas. After the field completed the 4.4-mile swim under windy conditions on Day One in Lake Buchanan, the swimmers faced a shorter, milder 2.6-mile course in shore of Inks Lake,
38-year-old Collis Williams again led the pack with a finish time of 1:00:46. The cumulative times for the Monster Challenge entrants for Stages One and Two are following:
1. Collis Williams (38), 2:51:03
2. Dave Barra (43), 3:00:42
3. Keith Bell (60), 3:02:14
Race founder Keith Bell said, "Collis...is in much better shape than he was for his last open water race. It's going to be tough for anyone to overtake him in the next three days."
Defending champion Dave Barra finds himself over 9 minutes behind Williams. Barra is an avid open water swimmer who wrote 10 great reasons to love open water swimming.
Friday’s Stage Three race, a 2-mile swim, will be held at Lake LBJ - see course map here.
Upper photo shows Bell, rounding buoy during Stage Two. Lower photo shows leaders during the race. Both photos provided by Sandy Neilson-Bell, Race Coordinator.