What do you get if you put an aquathlon on steroids? You get a massive challenge. If you add spectacular surroundings with pristine trails, untouched lakes, huge climbs, ridge-line runs with swooping technical descents and you get a Swimrun event. If you put it in the Lake District, adding four seasons in a day weather, with 38 km of running, 6km of open water swimming and you’ll you get the Breca Buttermere Swimrun event (http://www.brecaswimrun.com/breca-buttermere) If you add a friendly, efficient event with excellent support and medal with huge bragging rights, you get a memory for life.
Swimrun is a sporting phenomenon on the rise. A bet between four friends on swimming and running from island to island in Sweden has spawned an event for those looking for something new to challenge the mind and body. Try and picture swimming in trail shoes and running in a wetsuit with emphasis on an eco friendly event in a magnificent setting and you are getting there. Equipment can include swim cap, goggles, wetsuit, hand paddles, swim buoy for buoyancy, socks and trail shoes. Many competitors will have other other extra bits to complement the day.
Julia and I are strong swimmers, decent runners and inexperienced fell racers. As such we approached the day with caution having taken advice and trained in the recommended kit leading up to the event. An event requirement is to compete as a team of two, staying within 10m of each other throughout the event. This has the potential to add camaraderie or strife to the experience depending on how well matched the pair is. Our tactic was to start steady, build steady and hopefully finish strong. The massive variation in the terrain though the day made this a wise choice.
Despite a small detour of two kilometres during the race we managed to claw back into the top 15. To crown off the achievement, we made the podium for the mixed team. We both enjoyed the day tremendously and built through the race to finish strongly as hoped. The race was very challenging both mentally and physically, but we both walked away planning the next event. Mark my words, this is a sport on the rise. Onto the next challenge.