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Every question that you have, we have an answer.

You can contact us with any questions about open water swimming, trail running or swimrun. Reach out using the contact form or email [email protected]

Some of the questions
Swimrun. Thats an aquathlon isn't it?

No. Swimrun is very different. Here are some unique features:

  • Aquathlon generally has 1 run and 1 swim and the distances are usually standardised to a 5km run and a 1km swim.
    In swimrun, there is no such standardisation.
    There will always be multiple runs and multiple swims, which means multiple transitions. There are no set distancesShort course events could have 4 or 5 sections of each. The most we know of is Otillo Gothenburg with 28 run sections and 27 swim sections as athletes take the shortest route between islands from start to finish.
What are the rules?

SwimRun is a very easy going sport.  Its for those who want  to be at one with nature and worry less about comparing your pace with someone else.
There are only a few ‘rules’.
The main one is that whatever you have with you on the start line, you carry with you all the way through. That means trainers, wetsuit, pull-buoy, paddles, gels, cup, water bottle… It all gets carried.
You’ll notice that swimrun specific wetsuits have big pockets built in. Thats why!

In addition, swimrunners look after each other. Even when racing, you’ll find people helping each other out of the water, or stopping to make sure someone’s OK if they look sick. That’s the swimrun way and its part of being a good sports-person.
Otillo do publish a set of rules which are generally accepted across the sport. Have a look here

What kit do I need?

One of the best things about swimrun is how easy it is to start doing! There’s no expensive bike and technology tends to stop at a sports watch!

That said, if you’re going to compete, or you’re intending to cover long distance swimrun, then some swimRun specific kit is a good investment.

Here are some options:

  • SwimRun wetsuit
    Yes, a shortie is fine to start with, but you’ll probably find a point at which a normal wetsuit chafes a bit more than you’re  comfortable with. A normal swim wetsuit is great in the water, but will rip the first time you encounter a thorn or a rocky swim exit. You’ll also find it hard to carry everything you need on your runs.
    A swimRun wetsuit is a hybrid between a swim wetsuit and a tri suit and has  pockets built in. The gusset is made from much more stretchy material which is great for running in. Many also have a zip at the front and back, which makes it easy to cab down if  you get hot on runs.
  • Trainers
    Standard trail shoes  work really well. Use a pair that drain water quickly.They usually have mesh sides. Test yours out by filling them with water, holding them in the air and see how quickly they drain. Most swimrun athletes will also drill extra holes in the soles to further enhance drainage speed.
  • Pull buoy
    Sounds weird? When you think of the extra weight of wet trainers dragging behind you, a pull-buoy makes all the difference and they are absolutely permitted in all swimrun races.  Swimrunners have developed systems which allow you to carry the pullbuoy on the runs without it getting in the way. See https://youtu.be/x9amWcsmhsE There are swimrun specific pullbuoys, like the one in this video.  These tend to be larger  than pool buoys.
  • Hand paddles
How do transitions work?

Imagine this. You finish your swim and you need to get running and there’s no transition area, no putting dry kit on wet skin, no trying to pull socks on. Nada!
That’s swimrun. You quite literally exit the water and break straight into a run, taking your hand paddles off your fingers and stowing your pull-buoy as you go.
You can remove your hat and goggles if its a run longer than a few hundred metres if you want. In hot weather you may want to ‘cab down’. That’s what we call peeling your wetsuit down to your waist. In many cases, just un-zipping is enough.

Going back to the swim from a run, its the same but in reverse.
Wetsuit zipped up, hat and goggles on, hand paddles on and pull-buoy in place. Go!

What's it like to swim with trainers?

Probably the most common “whaaattt???” that swimrunners get from non swimrunners when they hear that you swim in your trainers.

The first few times you head into the water do feel strange. You don’t really use your legs in a swimrun swim. It’s their rest time before the next run.
With trainers on and a pull-buoy between your legs, kicking really isn’t very practical.
You get used to it very quickly though and soon, going back to the pool and using your legs again feels just as weird!

Coming out of the water and into a run also feels strange to start with. You can expect your shoes to squelch with water for a few hundred metres, but the downward force of your feet soon squashes the water out.

Do you need a team?

Not any more, no.
Swimrun events always used to require teams of 2 for safety. Now though, solo entries are welcome in most races.
That said, racing as a team is a fantastic experience. Check out our good friend Alex Sheen’s great article on swimrun.com.

Is it a friendly sport?

SUPER friendly!
We don’t generally have any of the attitudes found in some of the other multi-sports. Swimrun is welcoming, inclusive and more aligned to a load of mates, some of whom you only met on the start line(!), on an adventure with a bit of competition thrown in.
Give it a go!

Want to know more? Either contact us, or book onto one of our clinics