You may have heard of this new ‘swimrun’ race that has been growing in popularity around the world but many triathletes are a bit confused about what exactly this new sport is all about.
Swimrun traces its origins to a drunken bet between two groups of friends in Sweden’s archipelago. The friends divided into teams of two and had to swim and run between the islands until they made it to the last island where the losing team would pay for the winning team’s food and beverages. This was in 2002 and the friends kept up the tradition until 2006 when they created the first commercial swimrun race with 11 teams. A new craze was born. Now swimrun races are held all over the world and races that are part of the OTILLO series offer participants a chance to qualify for the world championship, ranked as one of the toughest endurance races in the world.
Tony Hammett, owner of Peak Racing Events and director of Swimrun Georgia has this to say about swimrun,
"SwimRun is the newest endurance sport here in the United States. It requires teams to partner together as they manage multiple legs of alternating swims and runs across several miles of varying terrain. We see triathletes, competitive swimmers and runners and those seeking adventure registering for SwimRun events. Many tell us they are looking for a new and fun challenge. With its laid-back environment, it offers something a bit different for athletes who want to add a unique event to their racing calendar."
Swimrun is relatively new to the US but grows in popularity each year.
What swimrun is NOT
- It is not an aquathlon. Participants alternate between swimming and running over a set course (usually 2-4 miles of swimming and 6-15 miles of running).
- It is not a relay. The event is done in teams of two and you must remain within 10 meters of your teammate at all times.
- It is not a USAT sanctioned event. Swimrun events allow you to use paddles and pull buoys in the water which disqualifies it from being a USAT sanctioned event.
- It is not a set distance race. The distances are approximate with water entries and exits but each team navigates the course in the most efficient manner possible. The goal of swimrun is to work with nature. That means that course changes could happen based on weather conditions or changes in the natural landscape that happen prior to the race. Find out more about swimrun here
What swimrun is:
- A fun and challenging event to take on with a partner. One of the most fun parts of swimrun is having a partner. It allows you to truly experience the day alongside someone. Learn more about choosing a partner here.
- A great way to gain confidence in your open water skills. Because you’re in and out of the water and often wearing your shoes to swim, swimruns are great to help you supercharge your open water training before your big races.
- A way to try out adventure racing with some familiar training skills. Swimrun is an endurance event and you need to train for it as such. This type of training is familiar to triathletes and it gives you a different challenge from the typical triathlon training. Learn more about training here.
- A sport that you’ll see much more of in the coming years. Races are popping up all over the country and around the world. Make sure you research the course to know what type of challenge you’ll be undertaking before you sign up.
To help you decide if swimrun is right for you, we’ve created a complete guide to swimrun with great videos to help answer all of your quesitons, including what geat you'll need.
Check out all of the videos here.
We carry all of the equipment you’ll need for swimrun so come into the store or give us a call to find out more! If you're looking for a great race to get started in the sport, join us in April at SwimRun Georgia.