Swimrun Wales: Behind The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun

The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun is a striking course, set in the shadow of the formidable Cadair Idris in North Wales. Here we chat to Mike Alexander, Race Director of the Tal Y Llyn Swimrun and Owner of WESWIMRUN.

How did you get into Swimrun?

I had heard about the Otillo format from my background in adventure racing, it appealed to me, so I signed up to the Otillo Uto race in 2014. We had no clue really. No specialist kit, we just rocked up in an old wetsuit, trainers with an appetite for adventure.

What makes a good Swimrun course?

Feeling like you might not finish! The adventurous element is key, it’s all about the location and how the race journeys through it.

Tell us about the Tal Y Llyn Swimrun?

Tal-Y-Llyn is a beautiful part of the National Park which feels really wild at times, there isn’t much civilisation. It’s alpine in some respects and like a mini Engadin! The lake is quite shallow but lovely for swimming in. Temperature can vary between 13 and 22 in the summer months, but expect temperatures around 16-17 degrees. In certain conditions wetsuits aren’t mandatory, allowing “skins” Swimrunners!

The crux of the course is a monster hill and you can see far below you, looking back across Llyn Mwyngil where you have just swum. The climb is followed by an exciting descent crossing a waterfall. It’s pretty epic.

There is a friendly and supportive atmosphere. I see this as a progressive course, great for first-timers but we also see familiar faces coming back every year.

What one piece of advice would you give to a first-time Swimrunner?

Just don’t worry. People seem to get stressed about the kit. Have a go.

The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun returns on the 19th June 2022. More information about the race here. Just getting started in Swimrun? Read our beginners guide.

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