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Burleigh Swim Run Attracts Over 800 Competitors

Swimrun in Australia continues to thrive with the 12th edition of the Burleigh Swim Run on the Gold Coast attracting a sell out field. The Burleigh Swim Run has a 400m Ocean swim followed by a 4km beach run. There are also two other formats, a ‘taster’ event and one for juniors. The swimrun launched following the 2009 riots to bring back community spirit, fun, fitness and family values. You can find more about the Burleigh Swim Run here.

10 Of The Best Swimrun Wetsuits

As far as swimrun gear goes, your swimrun wetsuit is the most important piece of kit. You’ll be wearing this for the entire duration of a race which could be 8 hours long. It should be able to cope with both long swims and challenging running sections without overheating. A good swimrun wetsuit should be hard-wearing and provide buoyancy and may have additional features to make your race easier such as removable arm sleeves and pockets to stash food and gels in. Most suits these days have whistles built in as required by race organisers.

As we look forward to the return of many global swimrun races in 2022, we’ve delved into the world of swimrun wetsuits to bring you the very best options on the market. On our list, you’ll find both top-of-the-range and affordable options, for both the beginner and the experienced swimrunner.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 best swimrun wetsuits.

1. 2XU Swimrun Pro Wetsuit

2XU have made a great suit here. Using premium Japanese Yamamoto neoprene, 8mm in upper legs for buoyancy and careful design for flexibility on run stages. Pockets are well designed to stash swimming cap and goggles. This is a swimmers swimrun suit with SCS hydrodynamic coating to reduce drag in the water.

2. Head Swimrun Myboost Pro

The Myboost Pro is the newest wetsuit in Head’s popular swimrun line. The suit features 4mm air cell neoprene with additional buoyancy in the chest and quads, as well as detachable sleeves. There’s both a front and back zipper and front and back tow loops for accessories like flotation devices. As an upgrade from their popular Myboost SL, this is a dependable wetsuit with enough flexibility that you can adapt it to your needs.

3. Zone3 Swimrun Evolution Wetsuit

This is one of the most advanced swimrun suits out there. Crammed with technology, the Evolution wetsuit is incredibly light and designers have focused on comfort. There are a useful six pockets and altught the suit is light, it doesn’t compromise on buyonacy. Expect this to be one of the most popular suits in 2022.

4. Blueseventy Alliance

The Alliance is made for swimrun, with a built-in extended front zipper, removable sleeves, and tether loops. It also features two internal front pockets for accessories or nutrition plus a larger back pocket.

5. Decathlon Swimrun Wetsuit

This one’s ideal for beginners – it comes in at just £179.99 but provides quality design and comfort for anyone new to the sport. The unisex wetsuit has all the standard accessories including inner and outer pockets and both a front and back zip. The arms and legs are both half-length sleeves, so bear this in mind if you’re racing in the winter months.

6. ARK Sports ORNÖ™ 02

ARK was born in the birthplace of swimrun, Sweden, and their flagship ORNÖ™ wetsuit pays tribute to the home of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championships. It’s described as a suit with “no unnecessary additions” – it has everything you need and no fluff. Weighing just 580g, it remains flexible both in and out of the water and has a strategically-placed buoyancy belt around the lower chest made of 4mm AIR cell neoprene. ARK have been producing the gold standard of swimrun suits for years.

7. ARK Sports ORNÖ X™

Another ARK, but this one is the successor to the ORNÖ™ 02 and ideal for experienced swimrunners looking for a top-of-the-line suit. This one is even lighter than the ORNÖ™ at 510g and features better thermal capabilities for winter races. It also features better buoyancy – the “master belt” around the chest is now made from 5mm buoyancy FOAM for better flotation. There’s also a front zipper, back pocket, and separate arm sleeves.

8. Orca Swimrun Wetsuit Core

There may be newer models from Orca’s swimrun wetsuit line, but the Core is still a favourite among swimrunners. The suit is made from Yamamoto 39 neoprene, which has greater elasticity than standard neoprene. This means it is more flexible, with less force needed for movement. The outer pockets are large enough to hold additional buoyancy materials, and it has a front upper and removable sleeves.

9. Yonda 2021 GHOST 3 SR

The Ghost 3 SR is Yonda’s specialist swimrun wetsuit, with all the features of their award-winning Ghost 3 suit. It utilises the same Yamamoto 39 neoprene as Orca’s Core suit, with a 4.5mm aerodrome panel across the chest to aid buoyancy. There are also 2.5mm panels in the legs and a front zipper with easy access to interior pockets. Yonda is a British based brand who have relentlessly innovated their swimrun suits, the Ghost is a quality suit picking up Triathlon 220’s best on test.

10. Colting Swimrun SR03

The SR03 is one of the thinnest swimrun wetsuits on the market, with a thickness of just 1.5mm across most of the suit – the sides have a special panel 0.8mm thick to aid mobility while swimming and running. Though thin, the Yamamoto neoprene ensures that it’s flexible and water-tight. It also has an adjustable buoyancy system – the suit comes with three thicknesses of float, so you can choose which you want to insert into the thigh mesh pockets.

10 Of The Best Swimrun Shoes

Your swimrun shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear in your arsenal, and you need to choose a pair that is durable, flexible, drain quickly and don’t act as a sea anchor when swimming.


Swimrun shoes are evolving quickly and there are now plenty of swimrun specific shoes on the market as well as trail running and triathlon shoes that are more than suitable for swimrun, too. We’ve selected the 10 best swimrun shoes with options suitable for beginners and swimrun aficionados.


Here are our picks of the best swimrun shoes you can buy right now.

1. Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X®

The popular Icebug Acceleritas8’s have had an upgrade recently, making them even more lightweight and minimal. The Rock Shield at the front of the toe will protect your feet on more rocky sections of swimrun courses, and the toe box is also roomier than other shoes to make the shoe more agile and comfortable. The outsole utilises RB9X®, a rubber compound that provides enough traction on both wet and dry surfaces

2. Inov-8 X-Talon 212 V2

Another shoe that has had a revamp, version two of the X-Talon 212 now has STICKYGRIP rubber on the sole for increased traction. It retains popular features like the 8mm studs for soft ground, and it also has a lower-than-normal drop of 6mm for those who prefer a more natural running style.

3. VJ Irock 3

The Irock has long been a popular choice for swimrunners. It has strong traction, helped by Butyl rubber on the outsole and a specially designed lug configuration. The upper features Kevlar fibres to ensure durability and extra protection, and there’s also improved toe protection in the Irock 3. The Fitlock lace system also helps keep the shoe snug on the inside and under the arch of your foot.

4. Salming OT Comp

The Salming OT Comp has been specially designed for swimrunners, with enhanced draining capabilities and traction compared to the rest of their trail running line. Designed with Michelin, the lug has been inspired by mountain bike and motorbike tires, making it great for soft terrain. There’s a lightweight mesh body on top with reinforced RocShield™ panels on the side. This one comes in narrower than others, but it’s the grip that sets it apart.

5. Vivobarefoot ESC Tempest

Vivobarefoot is known for its ultra-minimal shoes, and their first pair specialised for swimrun are no different. The Tempest have a wide toe box to ensure natural movement and are also super flexible – but without sacrificing durability. The outsole was created with Michelin for maximum traction, and the sock fit at the top of the shoe ensures you’ll stay comfortable during transitions. 

6. Merrell Trail Glove 6 Eco

The sixth version of their minimal trail-running shoe, the Glove 6 is equally suited to swimrun with its increased abrasion resistance and a mesh upper. There’s a rock plate to keep your feet further protected, plus a thick sole. The shape of the shoe is made to mimic the natural shape and movement of your foot, making this an ideal choice for those looking to venture into barefoot shoes.

7. Salomon S/Lab XA Amphib 2

The Amphib shoe has been designed for swimrun, with a specially created mesh on the upper that stays light in the water but drains quickly on land. Contagrip® Premium Wet Traction rubber on the sole ensures grip on slippy rocks or soft land terrain, and the bright red sole means it’s easy to spot your partner in the water.

8. Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

The Speedgoat 4 is part of Hoka’s range dedicated to technical terrain. The fourth edition of the Speedgoat features a breathable and rugged mesh as well as a roomier toe box for comfort and additional agility. There are 5mm lugs for stability and traction and they’re also vegan.

9. ORIOCX Sparta

The Sparta is another shoe ideal for beginners—it’s priced at under £100. This shoe has been specially designed for fell-running, obstacle racing (OCR) and swimrun, so you can trust that it will drain easily and provide you with that all-important grip. It weighs just 590g and has a removable innersole for comfort and faster drying out at the end of a race. There’s also shank reinforcement in the midsole, offering better stability on uneven ground. 

10. AN OLD PAIR OF TRAINERS

Your oldest and most beaten up pair of trainers. Drill at least four small holes in them and hey presto you have yourself a new pair of swimrun shoes! Sound crazy? Not at all. You will be surprised by the number of swimrunners who will race in an old pair of trainers. And you get to breathe some new life into a pair of shoes which would otherwise end up in landfill.

For the best swimrun wetsuits follow this link here.

UK Swimrun Events To Do In 2022

The swimrun events scene in the UK is bustling and 2022 is set to see a bumper number of swimrun races hosted in the UK. From entry level swimrun events to advanced, from city to wilderness we look at the calendar of UK swimrun events for you to do in 2022.

Mad Hatter Swimrun

May 

8th May: Manchester Swimrun 

21st May: Mad Hatter Hokey Cokey St Austell

June 

4th June: Otillo Swimrun Isles of Scilly

11th June: Great North Swimrun

11th June: Breca Gower

18th June: Love Swimrun Llanberis 

19th June: AKA Mustard Nene Park Peterborough 

July 

2nd July: Breca Coniston

4th July: Swyd Swimrun

10th July: AKA Mustard Manvers Lake Swimrun

15th July: Mad Hatter Roseland 

30th July: The Wales Swimrun 

August 

6th August: Scurry Yellowcriag Sea Swim/Run

September 

10th September: Love Swimrun Holy Island

11th September: Aka Mustard Bewel Water Swimrun

25th September: Aka Mustard Grafham Water Swimrun

Race Organisers Yet To Confirm Dates 

Swim Oxford Lock to Lock swimrun 

Weswimrun Tal Y Llyn

Weswimrun Dyfi

Breca Loch Lomond

Breca Jersey

We aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible and as such have only listed swimrun events where organised have confirmed dates. Please email Fred on hello@swimrun.com if you notice a swimrun race is missing.

Article last updated 25th January 2022.

{Draft} Beginners Guide To Swimrun

Swimrun is pretty new, originating in 2002 as a drunken bet (as so many good things do) between friends in Stockholm to race each other across the Stockholm archipelago. The resulting race became the iconic Ötillo race, and swimrun was born in 2006.  As such, it lacks the standardised entryways offered by more established sports; too wild for the sterile joyless toil of tri or duathlon, whilst the addition of an entirely new discipline in a ‘competitive’ setting can be daunting for trail runners or outdoor swimmers.  However, with a simple, measured approach, anyone can be a Swimrunner.

SO WHAT IS SWIMRUN?

At its core, SwimRun is all about running and swimming your way towards an end goal. It is gloriously minimalist – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your trainers. 

Races are typically completed in teams of two (though not exclusively). Full-length swimruns are over ultra-scale distances’ typically comprise of anywhere between 40-50km of running and around 9km of swimming broken down into numerous running and swimming sections. 

If that sounds like a lot, there are ‘Sprint’ distances typically half of a full course and a growing number of 10km-ish distances. There are no standardised lengths in swimrun – its the course and environmnet that creates the distance.

The below is a list of considerations to get you started, so doesn’t get too technical or performance focussed.  You’ll notice there’s not even a mention of finding a partner – whilst a partner often a prerequisite for racing and useful for training, it shouldn’t be a limiting factor to getting stuck in.  There’s plenty of time to worry about getting competitive:

EMOTIONALLY INVEST IN SWIMRUN’S ‘Primary Loop’

The ‘Primary Loop’ is the fundamental building block out of which your overall experience of SwimRun will be built, and can incorporate a spectrum of factors:  Physically, it means the act of transitioning from a run into swimming, swimming into running, running in neoprene, swimming in shoes.  Geographically, it is uneven often sparsely waymarked trails and open water.  It won’t always be fun. Doing these things wet, too cold or too hot, and fatigued is at times an inescapable part of the sport.  If you have a reason to compel you to do it you will enjoy the highs and endure the lows all the more.  For many the real appeal of SwimRun is that it is a gloriously liberating way of moving through an environment, free of distraction and faff.  Experiencing the ground underfoot and the water in your hands without fuss.

WHAT KIT DO YOU NEED?

Like any new sport, kit is an exciting and daunting part of getting started.  The joy of swimRun is you can tailor your kit to how you want to start!  Nowhere near trails or open water? Run on a treadmill or outside and swim in a pool – most people have swimming trunks, trainers, and goggles.  If you want to start racing, or up’ing the volume outdoors, you’ll need to invest in some SwimRun-specific kit:

  • Swimrun wetsuit
    • A glorious piece of kit, and investing in one early will pay dividends.  Unlike more typical wetsuits, they are designed to be flexible enough to run in, incorporating features such as front-zips for temperature regulation, and thinner material around high-wear areas such as the crotch and underarms. They also offer zipped pockets for carrying additional necessities such as water flasks.
    • When starting out favour buoyancy and ruggedness over speed – performance comes at the price of comfort.
    • BUT you don’t have to invest in a swimrun suit. You can cut an old wetsuit at the knees or hire a swimrun suit for a month ot so.
  • Trainers
    • Most SwimRun races have you running over trails, so decent grip is advised. Look for a pair that can drain water well.  When starting, use an old pair you don’t care about getting wrecked, take a drill and put a couple of holes in the soles. It really is that easy!. 
    • Shoes are probably the least well served when it comes to sport-specific options, though brands such as Innov8, Dynafit, ON-Running, and HOKA have decent offerings.  Vivobarefoots’ ‘ESC Tempest’ is specifically designed for SwimRunners, but is quite a niche option.
  • Safety Equipment
    • Not very glamorous, but pretty essential.  Mandatory kit for most races include pull buoys and whistles.  Also handy for training in open water, especially if alone.

  • Accessories
    • You’ll need a neoprene hat, coloured swimming hat, googles, and earplugs for a complete compliment of kit.  There are other things that can be used to increase efficiency such as pull buoys, hand paddles, and neoprene shin guards, but less is more when starting out.

TRAIN

The real joy of SwimRun training is it can be as flexible, focussed, or intense as you want it to be, and there’s a surprising amount of variety to be found in just two disciplines.  Only have half an hour? Do a swim or a run, or a short session of each.  Got longer? Stretch ‘em out.  A good rule of thumb is you need to be able to swim a couple of km in one go to be ready to enter a race – you won’t do that distance in one go, but all the shorter distances add up.

Build up until you are used to swimming and running in the same session, and try and get onto trails and into open water (lake, river, sea) as often as possible for these sessions. Don’t worry about distance, times, or transitions, just get the body accepting the volume and type of movement. This is not only important for entering races, but it is also what makes you a swimrunner, and is great fun!

Final tip, swim swim swim. Most of us can run, prioritising your swimming training for swimrun really is the way to go. 80:20 is a good rule of thumb (80% swimming vs 20% running).

See our swimrun training plan for beginners here.

MEMES

The memes are a real unforeseen joy of SwimRun, and a great introduction to the SwimRun scene.  Unlike some of its more established disciplines, enjoyment is really at the heart of the sport, and its esoteric nature is reflected in the personality of its culture.  It is really refreshing to be a part of a community that puts as much emphasis on enjoying itself as performance.  The LowTideBoys (podcast and Instagram account) are the best place for these currently.

ENTER A RACE

Chose a race and chose it early. Go for something that gets your blood pumping. A good recommendation is start modestly with distance like a Sprint but do it somewhere exciting or convenient.  Try and tailor it to your weaknesses – there’s no point signing up to do one with a lot of swimming if you aren’t a confident swimmer.  Not only is a goal useful for maintaining training focus, but you can then use your experience of this race to inform your training and race aspirations going forward.

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