(For more information about Swimrun, see the page swim-run.se (in Swedish), where also the text below can be found.)
Swimrun is a fast growing sport where the participants run and swim a number of segments, without stopping in-between. The sport was born in 2006 when the race “Ö till ö” was arranged for the first time. In a swimrun race the participant switches between running and swimming several times during one single race.
Is swimrun only for elite athletes?
There are swimrun races of all categories. From the Norwegian competition Rockman, with 6 kilometres swimming and 35 kilometres running, with 2 500 metres elevation, one of the toughest sport challenges that exist, to shorter races for beginners, e.g., around 10 kilometres in total. In Jönköping we also offer Family&Friends races that are even shorter (1-5km)!
Do I need to be a good swimmer?
Of course you have to be able to swim to do a “real” swimrun, but if you can to 1500 metres breast stroke you are no doubt ready for a swimrun. However, if you can do the front crawl (used in freestyle swimming) it is of course much easier. Many people are discouraged by the swim segments, but you should keep in mind that the wetsuit and possible flotation aids will give you a lot of help to float in the water, compared to just a normal swimsuit. In many of the shorter races, the swim segments are no longer than 400 metres, and in our Friends (5km) race the longest swim is only 200m. Check the race/distance you are interested in, and the details about its course, and you will see how long each swim segment is. In Jönköping we even have a Family 1km distance where one team member does not need to know how to swim at all – instead all flotation devices are allowed, and the other team member will guide the person who cannot swim.
What are the rules in a swimrun race?
There are no universal rules for the swimrun sport. It varies from race to race, but there are some commonly used rules. Usually you compete in pairs or teams, for increased safety on the swim segments. Every team that participates have to stay together and members are not allowed to be further away from each other than about 10 metres. A common rule is also that all the equipment that you carry at the start of the race has to still be with you when you cross the finish line, hence you cannot start with a pair of fins and then throw them away half-way. An obvious rule is also that you help other participants in the race if anyone gets hurt. To wear a wetsuit that covers the shoulders and extends to the knees is often a requirement, except in our Family&Friends races in Jönköping. Nowadays there are many wetsuits that are made specifically for the swimrun sport. There are usually also restrictions on how large flotation devices that are allowed, but there are exceptions, such as in our Family 1km race.
The rules of Jönköping Swimrun can be found here.