MEDFORD, Ore.- A Talent woman is making history after swimming for over 25 hours in Dominica. NBC5 met up with Shannon Keegan at the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport to welcome her back and talk about her achievement.
Shannon Keegan is a renowned marathon swimmer and just recently became the first person to ever free swim along the 66km Waitukubuli Sea Trail. That’s 40 miles in open water.
“It’s so much of just becoming comfortable with… you’re in your head,” Keegan told NBC5.
As the founder of Intrepid Water Adventure Swimming, Keegan helps people find out what they’re capable of in the water. Keegan said she’s a lifelong swimmer, but her first free swimming marathon wasn’t until she was in her thirties. Even though Keegan felt great in the water, she faced a major problem in her journey early on.
“Then in my twenties, I decided to jump into triathlon, and face the same performance anxieties, complicated by a, like a startling fear of open water, which is what you’re doing in triathlon, because you’re out in lakes and oceans,” Keegan said.
Keegan said she’s been wanting to do a major swim like this for years. After she connected with Wes Moses, who established the sea trail in Dominica, they worked together to make the open swim happen.
She began her journey close to 1:00 am at Scott’s Head. For nearly 26 hours, Keegan swam with a team of two kayakers, a boat captain, a team coordinator, and two observers. over a say later, Keegan finished at Capuchin just before 3:00 am.
“But for me,” Keegan said, “it’s very much being in my stroke and every single stroke that I take and making sure that each stroke is executed as efficiently as possible”.
Keegan told us she is excited for the swimming future of people in Southern Oregon now that Rogue X is about to open. She couldn’t emphasize enough how important she believes swimming is, whether for fun or to keep yourself safe. She couldn’t say for certain, but she hopes to be teaching classes there at some point.
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