#SwimRun is a new adventure racing format that takes you on anything from a 20-70km course that usually involves anywhere from 20-40 transitions between alternating sections of #swimming and #trailrunning. The events are huge in Europe but there are only a handful in the USA (East coast) – one event in Australia a year – and two in New Zealand. The cool thing about them is that they are usually held in spectacular natural locations that involve multi-stage crossings over oceans, across islands, around coastlines, and anywhere there are point-to-point land and sea locations that you can build a race course around. Some other fun facts:
1. You do the event in teams of two and you have to stay within 30 feet of each other the whole time. You’re either equally matched or one of you is a stronger #swimmer or #runner than the other. A lot of teams tether themselves together by a cord/rope for the full race.
2. You have to start and finish in the same gear. Unlike most multi-sport races (triathlons etc) there are no changes of gear for the different event sections/transitions. So you swim in your running shoes and run in your swim gear. You also carry/run with a pool buoy that you put between your legs when swimming which helps keep your legs from sinking due to the weight/drag of your shoes.
3. To also help with buoyancy there are special SwimRun wetsuits. Mine is 9mm(!) on the front of the quads/thighs and 1.5mm everywhere else – again to help with buoyancy and to offset the drag of your shoes.
4. Most races you also carry/use swim paddles on the swim legs – which help on the long distance swims. The rules actually provide that you can use pretty much anything that is non-motorized – you just have to carry it for the whole race.
5. Races are more about the adventure than the competition, and the camaraderie of finishing and pulling each other through as a team which is a huge motivation during the physical and psychological rollercoaster of adventure races. So if you’re like me and are always looking for new #fitness adventures then you should try one 👊!