Two runners run into the shallow water to start their swim.

There’s No Transition Zone in a SwimRun

People are talking. They’re talking about the SwimRun Victoria race on August 12th.

Many are asking questions and that makes us really excited.

SwimRun is a new race format that will be making its debut on the West Coast in August at Thetis Lake. Because it is new there are many questions swirling about how the event works. SwimRun is a multi stage race during which competitors alternate between swimming and running along a continuous course. There are no transition zones. Competitors must start with everything they need for the event and carry everything with them throughout the race.

This means swimming with running shoes and mandatory safety equipment; and running with goggles, pull buoys, paddles and/or swim fins.

The Victoria event has two distance options. The shorter course consists of two swims and two runs whereas the longer course consists of four swims and four runs. All of the swim portions take place along various routes in upper and lower Thetis Lake. The run portions utilize some of the numerous trails throughout Thetis Lake Park.

The water temperature in mid August will almost certainly be too warm to make swimming with a wet suit practical. Floatation devices are legal, however, as are swim paddles and fins.

The run courses go over a range of terrain and comfortable footwear is essential. Some of the run routes go into remote areas of the park and competitors must be self sufficient.

How competitors deal with these unusual race requirements is mostly up to them. Some will choose to swim wearing their running shoes during the swim legs while others will opt for the use of fins and carry their shoes during swim legs. Many competitors will modify equipment to make it more wearable or portable. Some will use towable floats to carry their running gear. Part of the challenge of SwimRun is to find your best solutions for these problems.

There are many resources for learning about SwimRun. A quick Google search will turn up dozens of websites offering descriptions and advice to new SwimRunners. Use these resources carefully and compare the information provided with the rules of SwimRun Victoria. You can always check the event website for information or contact the race director.

Do you think you have what it takes to do SwimRun Victoria? Register and join us!

Thetis Lake on a windless sunny day.
Upper Thetis Lake.