Last week, the city of Poznań in Poland held its 42nd Wpław przez Kiekrz (Swim through Kiekrz).
The Wpław przez Kiekrz race started in 1967 and was the original qualifier for the defunct Baltic Swim Marathon and is now Poland’s oldest and longest open water swim.
Many great Polish swimmers have participated in the race including Przemysław Abramowicz, Artur Wojdat (a medalist from the 1988 Seoul Olympics) and Malwina Bukszowana. In 2007, the organizers published a book celebrating the 40 years of the swim. The race includes a 100-meter children's race, a 1.5K race, a 3K race and the main 7K race while concurrently serving as the Polish championships for police and journalists.
The 3K race was the third race of the Grand Prix Wielkopolski (Greater Poland) which is a series of nine races in its third year. The 7K race was won by 17-year-old Mateusz Mosiężny in a time of 1:33:08, who took the early lead early with last year’s winner Markus Rosenkranz from Berlin. Mateusz said, "I was happy with the win, but I was focusing more on the Polish Junior Championships next weekend."
This year was also the first year the race was named in honor of Stanisław Ganczarczyk who was one of the original founders of the race and who recently passed away. I
As Michał Skrodzki says, "In a country where open water swimming has a small profile, it’s great to see such an historic swim still going around year after year. Things are on the upswing in Poland with the Grand Prix Wielkopolski gaining a major sponsor in Pizza Express. It's first prize this year is a trip for two to Egypt. So, hopefully, Polish open water swimming will only get bigger and better in Poland."
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association