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As Keen As Mustard Survivor: The Impossible Swimrun Race 

You will not finish this race, nobody will. Set in bucolic English countryside, the first knock-out style swimrun race has come to the British Isles. In its inaugural year, the As Keen As Mustard Swimrun crew have introduced an exciting new concept based on a looped racing format. Still a relatively new phenomena in swimrun, Yotta XP in France and EX Swimrun in Sweden both spring to mind.

The concept is relatively simple, you complete a 3km lap (three runs totalling 2.2km and three swims totalling 0.8km) within a time limit. The catch? The clock is always against you and the time to complete each lap decreases the longer you hang on. It is a spectator friendly format where supporters can see the action up close and personal from many different places. The result is a compelling race, and not swimrun as you know it. 

Everyone is a winner. While that sounds like something an enthusiastic teacher says to a struggling child, in reality, we are all racing the clock. The clock is the enemy, for those racing against it are all cheered in equal measure from the first to last person back. The biggest cheers come from those who just beat the clock or fall agonisingly short. 

The biggest challenge lies in your head. How hard should you go? Will you make the next cut-off? The wait between laps albeit short, is a cold one.The experience becomes increasingly exciting the closer you get to being cut off. The inevitable eventually happens, some fail to complete the lap in time and others decide not to go out for another round.

Whilst this probably favours stronger swimmers (approx. 27% swimming), there is no denying this is an exciting and accessible format which caters to both beginners and elite athletes.

As Keen As Mustard have ripped up the rule book and given everyone a dose of their hot hot sauce! The atmosphere is pumping and it is a hugely enjoyable day out to start or finish the swimrun season. The Mustard crew delivered a phenomenal event with a roaring, funny and brilliant team of marshals and safety and were a major part of a successful first race. 

Congratulations to overall winner Piers Vallence who nipped just ahead of James Johnson (both completed 8 laps) with James Gibson making up an impressive mens podium. In the ladies category, Claire Vallence took an excellent win with 6 laps completed, Rachel Barnes a close second. Christina Langford (also known as Mrs B) took a well deserved third place. 

That concludes the UK swimrun season, we hope the survivor returns next year! Train well over the winter and be sure to check our 2024 race calendar which will be updated shortly. 

Fred Newton

Fred is the Editor and co-founder of swimrun.com. He has actively been involved with the sport of swimrun as an enthusiastic participant, race director, volunteer and journalist.

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