What is SwimRun?
SO what is SwimRun? Well, it’s a lot like it sounds. Of course,
there is swimming and there is running. But unlike a tradi-tional
aquathlon where racers swim and then transition to
run, this unique race tends to take participants off the beaten
path so they can blaze their own trail over the hills, onto the islands,
and through the woods.
“The sport itself is quite unique,” Jeno explains. “There’s no real
course. There’s a lot of bushwhacking. I flag trees through the woods.
There is a course, but you don’t have to follow a trail. It’s not like a
marathon where it’s 26.2 miles. Every course is different with differ-ent
distances and sections unique to the area. You kind of just wing it
and make something fun with what you have.”
Another unique feature is that athletes compete in pairs.
“You’re required to stay within approximately 15 feet of your part-ner
so teams are often tethered during the race,” says Jennifer Devers,
a local athlete Jeno coaches.
There are markers to keep racers on the right track but, like
children coursing through a jungle gym, no team will take the same
path. Devers says it’s like “playing in the woods with my friend.
You get through it together. You help each other when needed. It’s
Unlike a triathlon, competitors carry everything they plan to race
with. Because these are hardy events with cold water swimming,
standard gear includes goggles and swim cap, a very specific neoprene
wetsuit, paddles and shoes. Pull buoys, fins, gloves and vests are
optional and dependent on the conditions and the team.
PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER
Top: Robin Boucher checks the water temperature and helps his teammate Kim Baldwin put on gloves for a training session in Wrightsville Beach in
February. The thermometer reads 52.9. Above: Local SwimRun athletes meet for a practice swim in Banks Channel in February.
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