Ian Feldman is the President of Canaqua Sports, hosts of the Mudskipper Swimrun Challenge Series in Canada. The Mudskipper challenge boasts an impressive 11 location series, making them one of the largest swimrun organisers worldwide by race locations.
The Mudskipper Series has partnered with Aquaticrunner and has four qualifying races for the World Individual Swimrun Championships. Ian sat down with swimrun.com to chat all about the Mudskipper series.
Ian, How Did You Get Into Swimrun?
I was a frustrated triathlete who didn’t like cycling! The simplicity and relatively low barriers of training appealed to me. I had to bring swimrun into Canada.
What Is The Swimrun Scene Like In Canada?
It is buzzing, waiting to pop. Canada is surely the spiritual home of swimrun with the land of 100,000 lakes and so many wild places and parks, we are spoiled for choice. You can swim in freshwater and oceans in the same breath. Some of the locations here are world-class.
What Makes A Good Swimrun Course?
Having progressive race options with different types of experiences for beginners and repeat swimrunners is a key factor.For beginners, you need to take away the fear and have a course with short swims and easy transitions at the beginning. Really get first-timers into the sport that they say ‘I can do this’ and enjoy it. Then a natural progression into a tougher middle distance with technical transitions and a long distance which really tests athletes.
Tell Us About The Early Days And Your First Ever Swimrun?
We launched in 2017 and it was difficult, two races with 35 people and the first in Canada. We were like new world explorers in a way, first time swimrun race organisers with a field where almost everyone was a first-timer – it was incredibly exciting.
The feedback at the finish line was electric. ‘I will never do a triathlon again’, spouted one participant. Another declared that it was the most incredible thing they had done. Suffice to say, we were back for more.
What Is The Vibe At Mudskipper Races?
Our races are low key and a lot of fun, there is a true grass roots feel about them. Everyone wants to help each other, there is no pressure – the focus is about enjoyment!
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
Grow the number of Mudskipper domestic races to 15-20, bring on long course options and expand to the USA and beyond. Oh and relaunch the Canadian National Championship.
Finally, What One Piece Of Advice Would You Give To A First-Time Swimrunner?
Make your own pull buoy, make your own shoes. Come and give it a try! Just do it. Simple, you have to keep it simple. Once you know you like it, you can buy the specialist kit but for the moment just come and try it.
To find out more about this race series, visit the Mudskipper Swimrun Challenge Series.