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What Is SwimRun?

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SwimRun is a multi-stage competition which involves participants running and swimming over a cross-country race course or loop-course that involves at least 2 transitions between the swim and run stages of the race.


Specifically, SwimRun is that it is always carried out outdoors and in water where the goal is to go from a starting point to a finish point through a course with at least 2 swim and run sections. All the equipment that a participant starts with has to be carried all the way to the finish line. Yes, this means you must wear shoes to swim! Even though SwimRun urges participants to use flotation equipment, equipment larger than 100×60 cm is not allowed.


Because of safety measures, a SwimRun competition is usually carried out by teams, but there are several races where you can race individually. There are three classes to compete in; either a men's class, women's class or a mixed-gender class. 














Given that SwimRun is a cross-country race, there are no standards yet in terms of how far the total run and swim should be, or how many transitions there should be in a SwimRun competition, like there is in sports related to SwimRun such as an aquathlon or triathlon.


SwimRun is one of the fastest growing multisport activities from since 2017. Limited equipment and no use of major roadways has athletes, race directors and venues eager to be a part of the many growing races that have come to North America.

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Teams are physically attached, meaning they must start and finish the race together. 

Want to race but don't have a teammate? Ask us to find you a buddy!

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SwimRun Gear



When looking for a pair of trainers these are some things that you need to consider:

  • Good Grip: Running with wet shoes on slippery rocks requires good traction. Make sure the shoe you choose has a good grippy sole.

  • Comfort: make sure your shoes fit you well and are comfortable enough for the distance you will be running. They need to be a snug fit so they don’t come off while swimming.

  • Water resistance: since you will also swimming wearing your shoes, it’s also good if the shoes are as slim as possible to create minimum resistance in the water. 

  • Drainage: you need the shoe to drain really well and hold as little water as possible. Think about the material the shoes are made from, thin mesh fabrics will not hold any weight compare to thicker padded shoes that soak up water like a sponge and then weigh a ton! If you’re really extreme you can even drill holes in the arches of the shoes to help the water drain! Don’t drill them in the sole – where water gets out water and dirt can also get in!

  • Lacing: your shoelaces can become loose during the race, especially during the swims and it can be really hard to do them up again with cold hands. Be extra careful when you tie your shoes, using double knots and tucking the loose ends inside the shoe, or use elastic laces such as Yankz or Locklaces.

  • Sock choice: well drained shoes are no use of you don’t wear quick drying socks! Try out different socks to find some that don’t hold too much water. Synthetic ankle socks are best.


If you are new to SwimRun there is no reason why you can’t give it a go in the wetsuit you already own. A regular full swimming wetsuit will certainly do a perfectly good job for you in the swimming stages, it will just take a bit more getting used to when you find yourself out running on dry land. During a SwimRun race you are likely to be wearing a mesh bib over the top so suits that have the zip at the back can be tricky to undo when you start to get hot and want to take the top half off. You may also find that for buoyancy there is thick neoprene over the legs and knees which can get pretty hot and hard going – it can feel a bit like running in a sauna with resistance bands tied around your ankles!














More questions?

Visit or phone Tri-It Multisport at (403) 270-7776

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