Project Description

We LOVE Swim Run Racing

Ok. Apart from the jelly fish stings we LOVE swim / run racing. Even these irritations go away quite quickly. Swedish race organiser Otillo is the originator of the sport. We LOVE Otillo they are a brilliant race promoter. Swedish laid back organising with superb efficiency. Their races have a great atmosphere and are held in breathtaking locations.

From niche sport beginnings Swim Run is becoming more popular. Maybe time to add it to your adventure list. Image is 1000 Lakes Otillo. What a location for a race!

What is Swim / Run – Ottillo racing?

Quite simply you run to water, swim to an exit point and repeat along a marked course until you reach the finish. Runs are on average from our experience 2-4 km with swim legs between 400m and 1500m. Although we did one in Croatia where the longets swim was over 3km across the ocean between islands.. 1000 Lakes race just north of Berlin was 42km in total with 34km running and 8km swim. Imagine the London marathon but you have to swim the last 5 miles.

Needless to say, races come in all shapes and sizes so choose the course you can manage. We seem to pick ones that take us 7 hours to complete!

‘We’. Yes, you race with a partner. This makes it great fun. There are challenges in this. You need to be similar abilities. Try judging this over a 7 hour race when at times one of you will be feeling strong as the other is finding it hard. We always swim tethered together so one can draft and sight. It’s also safer because In the sea you always know where your partner is swimming which helps.

Training is also fun. I think they are the best workout we do each year. Run, swim, run. Sometimes wild swimming but always with others for safety.

Training for Run / Swim races

These are ultra races rather than sprints. You need good base training and a high level of fitness. Transition from water to run saps your heat so the final swims can be a challenge. If you’re acclimatized for cold water and can activate your brown fat it helps. Training for open water swimming is essential.

Long trail runs are also needed. Sometimes the course is through terrain or along beaches which can be rough. This means you need to practice by fell running, trail runs orienteering or running coastal paths.

Then put it together with your partner. There are quite a few successful mixed gender teams. You must practice transitions. Getting into the water and out again can take ages. You end up tangled in teather chord, paddles, goggles and hats on the floor while you’re trying to set of running.

Equipment for Run / Swim races

There are now run-swim wetsuits. These are like shortie wetsuits but with more flexible material around the shorts area. They also have useful pockets for stashing ear plugs, whistles, compass and some food. Unlike normal wetsuits the zip at the front which give some ventilation and another place to store kit.

A teather usually made of bungee chord fastens to a thin belt. This is unclipped on the run.

Hand paddles are used by most of us. They compensate for the drag from your shoes. Youn need to treat paddles with respect they put more strain on your shoulders so practice using them.

Pull-bouys are used to keep your legs up on the swim.

Some races require you carry a whistle, compass and bandage.