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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > Dec2015/Jan 2016 > SWIMRUN: Your next CHALLENGE?


If you like a bit of trail running with your open water swimming then the new adventure sport of swimrun could be just for you, Says Jonathan Cowie
Image credits: Nadja Ogenhage, Ross Dolder, Paul Mitchell

If you haven’t yet heard of swimrun, you are about to. The Swedish endurance sport hit the UK big time this summer, and there are already more races planned for next year. What started as a drunken bet in Sweden just over a decade ago is now the latest international endurance sport phenomenon.

Swimrun does exactly what it says on the tin: athletes swim and run across a set course. But unlike aquathlons (which are essentially triathlons without the bike leg), swimrun races involve non-stop multiple swims and runs. Competitors must be experienced open water swimmers as well as confident trail runners.

Swimrun originated in Sweden with the Ötillö, which literally means “island to island”. In 2002 a group of friends challenged each other to race 75km across the islands of the Stockholm archipelago to get to a hotel in Sandhamn. The last one there would buy the drinks. It took them over 24 hours. In 2006 the race became a formal event, and it has now expanded into the Swimrun World Championship. One of the toughest adventure races in the world, teams of two swim between 26 islands and run over them, covering a total swim distance of 10km and 65km of trail running.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the Christmas issue. This month we talk to English Channel record holder Becky Lewis about her seven crossings (and counting!) and to Beth French about her plan to complete the Oceans Seven in one year, despite suffering from ME. Have you ever wanted to swim an Ice Mile? We have expert advice on how to train safely for one of swimming's most extreme challenges. And if you like a bit of trail running with your outdoor swimming, we take an in-depth look at the endurance sport of swimrun. We have inspiring travel features on Italy, Scotland and the French Riviera. And as it's Christmas we have some delicious cake recipes to try! Plus all the usual training advice and sessions, news, interviews, inspirational stories and event listings for 2016.