The second edition of the Breca Gower race took place recently, with 280 swimrunners braving the stifling heat to race over land and sea for up to 42-kilometres between Rhossili and Mumbles in South Wales.
The winners of the 42 kilometre ‘full’ race were Max Wolke and Alan Scott of Die Bruderwunderz, who set a new course record of 5:21:29 - smashing the previous record by almost 45 minutes. Local favourites and Breca Gower first edition winners, Marc Davies and Wilf Lewis of team Swansea Massive, finished the race in 5:38:31 – a 30-minute improvement over last year’s winning time and previous course record, but only good enough to secure fourth place in 2018.
The swimrunners in the second edition of Breca Gower really raised the bar in terms of performance, with seven teams going faster than last year’s winning time. The sea was probably a little calmer this year, without the swell and currents from 2017, but the scorching weather meant very tough conditions for running – especially in neoprene! The improvement in times shows how seriously many athletes are taking swimrun training and events now. We’re already expecting great things from the third edition of Breca Gower in 2019.
For the first time, a Breca Gower ‘sprint’ race took place, covering 20 kilometres between Oxwich Bay and Mumbles. 70 teams took part in the ‘sprint’ race, compared with 69 over the full distance. With only two teams out of 140 dropping out over the whole weekend, swimrun is fast becoming a challenging yet achievable adventure race for athletes of all abilities and backgrounds.
Ex-international rugby union players Huw Bennett and Ryan Jones raced against each other in teams Benny Boys and Hearing Wales finishing in 11th (06:50:07) and 34th (08:24:18) respectively. Six teams from the Honourable Artillery Company also took part, with the best performance from Oliver Smiddy and Patrick Wightman as part of team Gunboat Diplomacy who finished third in the Breca Gower Sprint Men’s category with a time of 02:45:16. Two representatives from the Army Triathlon team also participated.
The growing popularity of the sport has led Breca to set up the first national swimrun championships in the UK, with Breca Gower serving as the first race in 2018 calendar. The Breca UK National Swimrun Championship will allow teams to amass points over multiple events and compete against each other in stunning race locations. More details will follow in a forthcoming announcement.
All the best,