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Tal Y Llyn Swimrun Race Report: A Hidden Wonder In North Wales

Nestled high up in southern part of Snowdonia National Park is the gorgeous Tal Y Llyn Swimrun course by WESWIMRUN which meanders around a glacial ribbon lake. Set under the shadow of the formidable Cadair Idris mountain, its a special place in an environment forged by a glacial landscape millions of years ago.

2 swimmers competing in tal y llyn swimrun

Although a short course at 10km, the course has been designed true to the spirit of swimrun with a real sense of natural flow through water and land. There are four runs totalling 8km and four swims totalling 2km.

It is an excellent course for both beginners and seasoned swimrunners alike and run in a relaxed and laid back way with no compromises to safety. Swimrun.com’s Fred Newton reports on this year’s race.

The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun

Two rather menacing looking swans were hanging around on the first swim which we would be getting into soon. After being attacked by a swan last year, I hoped at least my fellow swimrunners would act as bait.

It was a mixed bunch of us stood on the start line, some doing swimrun for their first time and a few more old hats to listen to the race briefing from Race Director, Mike Alexander.

Only hours before, Mike and his sister had won the mixed pairs category at LoveSwimrun Llanberis. Yet this did little to dampen his energy, indeed it seemd to give him ‘more enthusiasm and focus for the Tal Y Llyn Swimrun’.

tal y llyn swimrun participant swimming

And woosh, like that we were into the first swim, the babble of friendly chatter with other competitors replaced with the rhythmical noise of paddles and hands meeting water.

Four of us went quickly out the blocks and hit the first transition at a similar time. Transitions are a great joy of swimrun and can range from easy to very technical based on what nature has to offer, the Tal Y Llyn Swimrun has a good mix.

Then off we went into the first run; a tiny lane which winds around the llyn before giving way to trail.

tal y llyn Swimrun participants leaving the lake to run

We reached the second swim entry which started with a decent wade out until the water level was deep enough to launch into the 700m swim. The other three, all better swimmers than I had pushed ahead. This was a highly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning!

Back again to the ‘swan swim’ leg and then up a lung busting 250 meter hill. Upon summiting, the scenery takes your breath away. Mountains tower above on all sides, with verdant green shorelines and the Llyn glitters far below you. It really was something to be journeying through nature in such a place.

tal y llyn swimrun participant running

One final swim before a warm welcome by Mike and his team at the finish. This was a unfussy swimrun with a ‘turn up and give it a go’ attitude. All of us enjoyed it with people traveling all over the country to be here.

The beauty of this course is that it can be done in swimming trunks, goggles, a pair of old trainers and a whistle while delivering a true swimrun race experience.

Race Director’s Highlight

Race Director Mike Alexander was pleased with the ‘perfect conditions and fabulous swimrunners which made for a very special day’. In summarising the course experience, Mikes goes onto say ‘It took in all the best bits, and left you wanting more’.

With LoveSwimrun Llanberis and Tal Y Llyn Swimruns being relatively short, I hope the “back to back in Snowdonia” concept appeals to more swimrunners in the future. You can read more from Mike here.

tal y llyn swimrun race director mike alexander shaking hands with participant on shoreline

The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun Returns:18th June 2023

The Tal Y Llyn Swimrun will return on Sunday 18th June 2023, for more information visit the website here.

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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