Swimrun in Jersey is here to stay. Despite six successful events since 2016, for a while it looked like 2021 was to be the last. However, local events management company 3D Events have stepped in to save this iconic race on 3 September 2022 and annually going forward.
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands is, as stated by previous winner Melissa Messervy, “made for this type of event, it has such a stunning coastline”. There are rocks, woodlands, beaches, castles, cliffs, trails and some steps. If it is adventure you want then this race is for you, even locals have discovered parts of the island that they would never normally explore. With the third largest tidal range in the world, the swimming component is both challenging and ever changing.
Full, Sprint & Experience Distances
Swim Run Jersey will offer three distances to cater for a wider range of participants.
The Sprint distance race (15.5km of running over 6 legs and 4.5km swimming) takes even well trained athletes 3 to 4 hours. You can race either as a team or as a solo athlete. With regular transitions, it also means stronger swimmers will leap frog teams in the water and stronger runners will be able to do the same on the trails. This can lead to some brilliant camaraderie and banter amongst teams. Added to this, with so many of the island’s athletes taking part, there is a huge amount of support out on the course, you will rarely feel alone, but if you are – just take in the view.
In contrast, there is no getting away from it, the Full distance race (46km of running over 9 legs and 7km of swimming) is brutal. Katie Silva, who won the full distance in 2017 with Mel acknowledges that “towards the end, when you’re swimming you want to be running and when you’re running you want to be swimming.” The event organisers are only allowing teams for this distance in part because without your partner it could be very lonely, however with your partner it can be a rare bonding experience. If it is a challenge you are after and you can race for the best part of the day (typical finishers take around nine hours), then this is for you.
By introducing an Experience distance (2.4km of running over 3 legs and 1.6km of swimming), Swim Run Jersey are opening up the event to even doubtful newcomers. Nick Thorne who was part of the team who won the men’s full distance race in 2017 admits, having been sceptical about the format, that he can’t remember why he signed up the first time. But he does the second, third and fourth times with the racing and training being unlike any other event he’s entered. He added the chaffing wasn’t as bad as he expected. This short distance can also be done in a tri-suit (or similar) so first timers can even try swimrun without needing any specialist equipment. While they enter as individuals they are welcome to informally team up with other competitors if they wish. Most people should complete this course in about an hour.
All Participants Will Receive A Warm Jersey Welcome
Whatever distance athletes compete over there is an after party at Portlet Inn at the end of the Full course. The awards will be given out and family and friends can join in some much needed rehydration. For those visiting the island, the evening and Sunday offer an opportunity to attend the Weekender festival or to take part in a local half marathon (Katelyn Ridgway came second in the solo Sprint in 2021 and won the half the next day!).
Vaughan Robinson, who has raced every year since 2016, winning the mixed team sprint with Claire Forbes in 2019 and part of the organising team in 2022 recommends competitors learn to love their paddles. “If you can practice with them in the pool, they will make a huge difference when you try and power through the waves and tides” Vaughan suggests.
Entries Are Open To Swimrun Jersey
The Jersey Swimrun event is among the 58 currently selected in 2022 for TSR points, with 671 available for winners. Further details of the event and how to enter can be found here: https://3d-events.co.uk/swim-run-jersey/ or on Facebook: Swim Run Jersey