What Is Swimrun?

Swimrun is a new sport where you complete a pre-defined course with multiple swim and run stages. You finish a course in the same gear that you start in; which means swimming in your shoes and running in your wetsuit. Transitions between swimming and running are often wild and rugged. 

Swimrun can also be called Swim Run and the names are used interchangeably. Swimrun originated in Sweden in 2002, with the Otillo World Series, the first swimrun race in 2006. Since then swimrun has grown and spread to many countries around the world.


There are no standardised race distances in swimrun as there are in triathlon. Swimrun courses are designed by the environment that they operate in. This creates a feeling of traversing through a natural habitat and connecting with the world around you.

A typical swimrun course might be 80% running and 20% swimming where you might have 5 swim legs and 5 run legs. Swimrun course vary from 5km in length to over 80km endurance events.

Typically a full course will be over marathon distance and a sprint course around half-marathon distance.

Swimrun is typically participated in a team of two where you will need to stay within 10m with your partner. In 2021, solo entries were widely brought in across a number of different races. 


Everyone! Swimrun participants come from many different backgrounds; triathletes, trail runners, open water swimmers, multisport enthusiasts, hikers and those who enjoy being out in nature. Swimrun is an inclusive and welcoming sport and typically 50% of swimrunners will be participating in a swimrun for a first time.

The future of swimrun is incredibly exciting, its core values of teamwork in spectacular natural environments must be protected. There is a tremendous sense of fun and adventure with swimrun, a sport which values experience over performance. 

Read more in our beginners guide to swimrun.

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