Welcome to the world of swimrun!
Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of people competing online or in sports magazines, or been bewildered by the sight of people running around the countryside in wetsuits and trainers. Despite being founded in 2002, for most people swimrun is a new concept. For those of you that are new to the sport, we’ve compiled this handy ‘Beginners’ Guide’ to demystify this exciting new format. We hope it will answer most of your questions, but if there is anything we’ve missed feel free to CONTACT THE BRECA TEAM.
1. What is swimrun?
2. Do I need a teammate or is there a solo option?
3. Can I switch teammates?
4. I want to race but I don't have anyone to partner with, can you help find me a teammate?
5. What equipment do I need?
6. How do transitions work?
7. How do I choose a race?
8. Where can I find a breakdown of the runs and swims in a race?
9. How do I train for swimrun
10. What should I eat and drink during the race?
11. Can I withdraw from a race, or switch from one to another?
1. What is swimrun?
Swimrun is an adventure race, comprising a series of run and swim sections staged continuously as a race in rugged environments, normally held over “ultra” scale distances. You run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes. The race is run in pairs: courses have to be completed in their entirety with a teammate at your side.
Races unfold quite differently to other formats you might be used to. You don’t change your equipment as you work your way through the course, everything you start with, you finish with. Transition refers to either a water entry or a water exit. When approaching a swim leg, ensure that your wetsuit is fully zipped up, your shoes are tightly fastened, and that you are wearing your race vest and swim cap. When finishing a swim, exit the water together at the transition flag. Teamwork is particularly important on technical, rocky transitions.
At the heart of Breca’s courses are the landscape and the experience. We want you to feel the thrill of racing in beautiful, wild places, away from artificial surfaces and structures. They’ll take you over craggy hilltops, through mountain tarns, along rugged coastlines and across glittering lakes.
2. Do I need a teammate or is there a solo option?
All of our swimruns are completed in pairs, we do not offer a solo option. While the concept of doubling the workload may sound daunting, having a teammate to share in your successes, urge you on when times get tough and check up on you when you start to flag adds to the exhilaration of the day.
There is also a practical reason for racing with a teammate: safety. Swimrun water entries and exits take place in open water and are not as controlled as in triathlon. They are often technical – on rocks and other slippery surfaces - so it is important to have a friend on hand to help support you through the challenges you'll face.
This also means you need to find someone at a similar level to you, or be prepared to adjust your speed accordingly.
3. Can I switch teammates?
During a race you cannot change your teammate: you start together and you finish together. If one of you is unable to complete the course, that is the end of your race.
Changes can happen for any number of reasons prior to race day: teams may have to split due to injury or a change in availability. We allow a change of one team member prior to race day. Please send a request in writing to the Breca Swimrun team, including the details of the new teammate as well as their racing experience, and we will update the entrants list.
4. I want to race but I don’t have anyone to partner with, can you help find me a teammate?
We know that finding a partner can be tough, and although we strongly recommend sourcing a partner on your own, this isn’t always possible. Therefore, we have launched a SWIMRUN FORUM to help with the process. Aim to partner with someone who you're going to enjoy racing with and matches your own level of fitness. Training is the key to these events, so finding someone with whom you can synchronise training schedules will improve your chances of success.
5. What equipment do I need?
The kit-packing list for swimrun is reassuringly simple. The only equipment you need to race is a wetsuit, googles, trainers, a reusable cup and a whistle (read more about our pioneering ‘no cup’ policy); we provide each team with Breca racing vests and swim caps at registration.
If you want to get serious about the sport (or fancy some new stash), we recommend buying a swimrun wetsuit. Today, all the major manufactures make suits with swimrun-specific features such as thicker leg panels, pockets for food and more. If you’d rather not shell out, cutting the legs off an old triathlon wetsuit is a great alternative. The trick is to free the knee joint to allow for comfortable running. Top tip: don’t cut off too much at once, you can’t put the neoprene back on! We wouldn’t recommend using a shorty surfing suit or the like, as they tend to be too stiff through the shoulders for the amount of swimming required.
The right pair of trainers is the pair that you’re most comfortable in. Most people use a light trail shoe, but it really is down to personal preference; just make sure the sole is appropriate for the conditions you’ll encounter on the course.
Modified pull buoys, hand paddles, flippers and toe ropes are also permissible (check out the Rules for a full explanation of the kit), but they’re not required. If you are going to experiment with the kit, we recommend doing so in training; don’t turn up to a race expecting to use something new for the first time; usually, it doesn’t end well!
6. How do transitions work?
In swimrun, a transition refers to either a water entry or a water exit. Teams must arrive at each transition as a pair. When approaching a swim leg, ensure that your wetsuit is fully zipped up, your shoes are tightly fastened, and that you are wearing your race vest and swim cap. When finishing a swim, exit the water together at the transition flag, assisting each other as required. Teamwork is particularly important on technical, rocky transitions.
7. How do I choose a race?
Each one of our races is a new adventure: an opportunity to explore some of the wildest, most beautiful corners of the world. One unique aspect of the sport is that there are no set course distances; this allows for total freedom when designing a course: it enables us to exhibit the very best trail, scenery and transitions that each location has to offer. Each race has idiosyncratic features and challenges: no two are alike. If you are new to swimrun, we recommend that you pick a course that plays to your strengths. While the scale of some of our challenges is right up there with the toughest single-day endurance events, there are a range of distances available to suit every athlete.
Look at the course profile, the location and whether the swims are in lakes or the ocean. All information pertaining to the courses can be found on the Breca event pages, including a course map that shows the route and the location of the checkpoints, the elevation profile and a route card detailing the transitions and the distance of each leg.
If you're still unsure, check out the RACE REPORTS section of our blog; otherwise, you just need to decide where in our UK SERIES or NEW ZEALAND SERIES you want your next Breca adventure to be.
8. Where can I find a breakdown of the runs and swims in a race?
All information pertaining to the courses can be found on the Breca event pages, including a course map that shows the route and the location of the checkpoints, the elevation profile and a route card detailing the transitions and the distance of each leg.
9. How do I train for a swimrun race?
Swimrun sounds like it should be straightforward to train for: a bit of swimming and bit of running… simple right? But with its paired buddy system and unique equipment requirements there are several techniques you can employ in your training to ensure you are getting the most out of your time and are well prepared for your swimrun adventure.
One of the most important aspects to master in training is the team dynamic. It’s likely that in any swimrun pair there will be a mismatch between running and/or swimming ability so although it may be cliché to say “you are only as strong as your weakest link”, this is especially true in swimrun.
Find a training location to replicate race length transitions. Racing for several hours with more than a dozen transitions between swimming and running is a feeling no amount of big swim sets or long training runs can prepare you for. To help your body adapt, find an outdoor training environment where you can easily switch between disciplines. For more ideas on how to prepare for your next Breca adventure check out the TRAINING TIPS
10. What should I eat and drink during the race?
Nailing your pre race, post race and all important race nutrition could well be the difference between racing strong and enjoying a good day, and hitting the wall and suffering round the course. Furthermore, as a team sport it is not just you that is going to being slowed down - both teammates need to be fuelled correctly as you are only as fast as the slowest person.
Planning in a Swimrun race is a massive part of your day, and nutrition is just like your physical training. You need to plan, prepare and practice! The key is to keep your energy levels high, which means ensuring that you have a plan in place for race day.
High energy foods and drink will be available at the checkpoint locations. Breca provides a full breakdown of each checkpoint location, the distances between each checkpoint and the nutrition supplied on our event logistics pages. Having this information to hand will help you decide when to fuel and what to take; it also gives you targets to aim for during the race.
For more swimrun nutrition tips check out the NUTRITION section of our blog.
11. Can I withdraw from a race, or switch from one race to another?
You should inform the BRECA TEAM immediately and in writing to should you need to withdraw from a race. Withdrawals up to 8 weeks prior to race day are eligible for a 70% refund. Withdrawals after that time will not be refunded for any reason as all costs will have been incurred by that stage and your team will not be replaced. There are no deferrals or transfers to alternative or later events.
Watch our Beginner’s Guides to Swimrun
+ Episode 1: what is swimrun, who is it for, what's racing like?
Annie Ross: Hello. We are Alan and Annie, and today, we are going to cover off a few question and answers around the newest endurance sport, SwimRun. I'm a first time SwimRunner. Alan is not, so he's helping me out. I've got loads of questions. I've got my first event coming up in six weeks, so I haven't got much time to fit things in, but Alan's going to help with some advice around three topics, we're going to break it into three chapters.
Annie Ross: The first is going to be what SwimRun is, who SwimRun is for and the race format. In the next episode of this video, we will go into choosing your SwimRun event, who your partner should be because it is a team event, and how you can structure your training. And in the third one, what gear you need because for every sport, there's a different set of gear. So that's the way we'll format it. I'll let Alan introduce himself, give you a bit of background, just so you can relate to us in our discussion.
Alan Scott: So my background is also running, swimming at school, and got into triathlon in my late twenties. Carried on through the triathlon, progressed through, did the Ironman thing, still do the Ironman thing. Just got back from Challenge Roth, which was great fun. But in 2014, a good friend of mine asked for I fancied doing this random event in Sweden called the Otillo. And, I thought why not? Not really knowing what it involved.
Alan Scott: But it was SwimRun, and we cracked into the training after we'd done our, sort of token Ironman for the summer. Um, and then-
Annie Ross: That was just "token Ironman", I'm like. The biggest goal.
Alan Scott: ... and then, just focusing on sort of running and swimming, I would say it's great to be off the bike for a change. And so we trained all the way through 'til the first Monday of September, which is when they always hold the event. And went and did the SwimRun and had a great event. Ended up first non Swedish finishers, which was a pleasant surprise-
Annie Ross: Very cool.
Alan Scott: ... and I loved every minute of it. But yeah, it's tough. It's a tough, long all day. But since 2014 there's so many different SwimRuns that have popped up and none of them are quite as brutal or as long as Otillo. So that is the sort of pinnacle the sport, but there's plenty of other shorter distances to get your teeth into as well.
Annie Ross: Awesome, and we'll go more into, I think later on, more into what type of events there are. Because there's not, it's not like triathlon, where there are standard Olympic Ironman distances, there are a variation.
Annie Ross: So, first of all, okay. So what SwimRun is. Can I try and describe it to you, and you correct me. So, I've done my research obviously, I signed up for the event, so you helped me do my research. So to me, SwimRun is an event, an endurance event with swimming and running and lots of different legs. So that's, I think there's three main differences from what I can see, from triathlon, or four actually from triathlon.
Annie Ross: There's no bicycle involved. It's lots of different legs. So it's swim, run, swim, run, swim, run, swim, run as opposed to swim and run.
Annie Ross: You're with a partner, it's a team event and you swim in your running gear and run in your swimming gear. So you set off on the start line with your stuff, you're carrying it, there aren't transitions where you pick up gear and drop gear off. So I think those are the four differences.
Alan Scott: Exactly, the only thing that you pick up en route is nutrition. Everything else you take with you and you can take nutrition with you as well, but you've got to carry it. You've got your eight stations, which usually coincide with the checkpoint.
Annie Ross: Yeah. So cool. I've got it right. That's good.
Annie Ross: As a newcomer it's a huge, like it's an endurance, and I don't think I realized how hard it was when I signed up for it. In terms of who it's for. It is for people who have, who are more in the iron distance triathlon area. I've done two Olympic triathlons, like a year ago, and five [inaudible] of swimming, things like that. So I'm not, I'm not scared about it, but I do recognize that well, I'm participating as opposed to competing. But I think that's the general vibe, right? It's more like an adventure event. It's trails, it's wilderness swimming.
Alan Scott: Absolutely. It's that, it's an adventurous ... there is, obviously, you're going to get your competitors that sort of want to win and want to go as fast as possible-
Annie Ross: You've got that one too.
Alan Scott: ... and you've got people who just sort of want to have an amazing day out, and you do get to see stunning parts of the countryside. So whether you're doing it in Sweden or Gower, you'll get to see sort of places that you won't usually even gain access to because you're running and swimming. And so, that's fantastic.
Annie Ross: Yes, I know on the Gower event I'm doing, on the website, it's very specifically, "Do not even try and train for this event in the location," because it's really dangerous. You need the water safety guys there.
Alan Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Annie Ross: So that's cool. Yeah, I mean, and then well, something we'll go into later in terms of the different like, there's lake swims, there's sea swims. But let's go into that later when we talk about the range of different events, I think.
Annie Ross: From an experience point of view, and you've done triathlons and Ironman distance before. What do you think is the toughest thing about SwimRun-
Alan Scott: A lot of people find swimming with their trainers on a bit of a challenge to start with. So that's something you definitely want to practice, and also you are allowed the use hand paddles, but again, it's something that you really need to practice. If you're sort of going to a SwimRun and you haven't practiced using hand paddles and you haven't practiced using trainers and then you're trying to use both, you're going to put one, your shoulders under a tremendous amount of strain.
Annie Ross: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm trying to train with them.
Alan Scott: And two, you'll, find it a bit overwhelming. So it's just sort of, it's great in terms of once you get used to it the hand paddles really sort of make life so much easier. You're allowed a pull boy to sort of help keep your feet higher. You need to get used to it, and you need to practice.
Annie Ross: So yeah, who SwimRun is for, it is, it is people who are ready for an adventure, for endurance. I mean it's, we're talking like 10 hours out on the course?
Alan Scott: For-
Annie Ross: What does it, what does the winner normally come in at?
Alan Scott: it depends. If you're looking at the Otillo, which is the longest form-
Annie Ross: Which is the world championship-
Alan Scott: ... the world championships, that is, the winning time is around eight and a half hours. However, most of, that's the only race at that distance. Most of the other races, the winning time is usually between four and six hours and that's the sort of teams that then go out to maybe eight or nine hours. So, Otillo is roughly double the distance of a lot of other races.
Annie Ross: ... Yeah.
Alan Scott: So you-
Annie Ross: Which is why you need those points to build up into that. Like the, Breca for example, is a merit race.
Alan Scott: Yeah, exactly. So you've got to almost sort of get, gain access, sort of earn the right to compete in Otillo, now.
Annie Ross: Yeah. It's getting more and more popular.
Alan Scott: Yeah.
Annie Ross: How do you think most people are finding out about SwimRun right now?
Alan Scott: I'm getting approached by people in my club who have found out about it-
Annie Ross: Triathlon club, though?
Alan Scott: Yes. I'm part of a club called Clapham Chasers and it's sort of a huge, huge triathlon club. And a lot of people have run the Olympic, done half, maybe tried an Ironman, or are just looking for a new challenge, and love sort of adventure racing. And SwimRun offers this sort of great, different challenge. And so it's really drawing people to it and it's growing through social media because, because it's so stunning, you get so many amazing photos of people competing. And when you see a picture of someone running with wetsuit chopped up to bits and hand paddles on, it kind of, people start asking questions. So, "What's going on?" And then find out about SwimRun. Yeah, and love the idea.
Annie Ross: Awesome. Yeah. I've been, I've been swimming in lake out in the country. And people are just like, "Why are you putting your trainers on and getting in the water?" Oh, and really into that, experienced triathletes have heard of SwimRun, but not many people know the concept. They've made assumptions. They're like, "Okay, that's swimming and running." But not many people know that it's all the different methods. It's shorter distances and more often, kind of thing. So it's quite fun introducing them and be like, I'm, I'm a pioneer apparently in this sport, which is ridiculous, because I shouldn't be. But, we'll see.
Annie Ross: And we've touched on it briefly, in terms of comparing it to other endurance sports, but what do you think makes the SwimRun element stand out, if you know?
Alan Scott: I think you're getting put in a unique part for the world and you're often going point to point over a big circuit. And you're just in nature and it's fantastic and then you get to swim in nature as well as run all over the place. Whereas a triathlon is a little bit more like, you do laps of the bike course, laps of the run course and it's a bit more sterile. I mean it's, it's great and it's different. But-
Annie Ross: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Alan Scott: ... the freedom aspect and the team aspects, as well, is, a lot of people ... I used to play rugby, and sort of love the team aspect of sport and sort of had to give that up because of injury and got into other sports. And having, having a mate to share the experience with, this again, just sort of magnifies the experience and it's just, it's great sort of running along, sort of talking rubbish with your mate.
Annie Ross: Yeah. Of course, and there, you're right.
Annie Ross: Well, I think we've covered off roughly what it is, who it's for. But more specifically on like, the format of the race- Alan Scott: So, quite often registrations the night before, maybe the morning of the race. You will get a briefing and hopefully you've got a map, there'll be a kit check and depending on what race it is, there'll be different sort of mandatory kit that you need. Sometimes a compass, sometimes there'll be a sort of beacon or locator that you'll need to take.
Annie Ross: Okay.
Alan Scott: Maybe, a sort of pressure pack, as sort of first aid kit of some sort. So, they'll check all of that. Then when you start, you will kick off and be looking for sort of markers. So, during the run quite often that use hazard tape and they'll tie it around bits of trees, maybe sawdust in the ground, so you're looking for that. You've also got a waterproof map that is part of the mandatory kit, just in case. And then you will get to the swim points, and for the shorter swim points it's fairly straightforward because you can just see sort of-
Annie Ross: Yeah, short is like 400 meters, right?
Alan Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Annie Ross: And the SwimRun, in the race I'm doing ... I'm going to call it an event not a race, because I'm not racing it ... the shortest is 400 and the longest is one kilometer, one point one or something. So it's not that, the distances are not long.
Alan Scott: No, it's bite sized chunks, which is the beauty of it. So even if you're intimidated by huge swims, it might be sort of 5K worth of swimming for the longest swim, like you say.
Annie Ross: 6K.
Alan Scott: And then like, a big flag or sometimes the further away, some sort of strobe or something, just so it's very, very clear. You can sight while you're swimming. And then there'll be a couple of safety people in the water, in canoes-
Annie Ross: Cool.
Alan Scott: ... just sort of keeping an eye on proceedings.
Annie Ross: Yeah. Awesome. And then that's something that I, because I've seen photos, right? And people are scrambling out on rocks and ... and the gear, again, we'll get into the kind of trainers that are suitable for that.
Annie Ross: But is it like, are you, are some people diving into water? Like, I'm not going to dive into water, because I have no idea how to do all this. All that kind of getting in and out stuff. Is it quite obvious when you get there?
Alan Scott: There'll be someone standing sort of at the entry point, but you need to sort of work out how you're going to get in. You've got to be sort of sensible, they'll tell you, sort of, they'll usually say "Don't dive, for your own safety."
Annie Ross: Okay.
Alan Scott: But it can be slippy, sort of, the rocks can be treacherous. So getting in and getting out is probably the most risky part of the day.
Annie Ross: Yeah.
Alan Scott: And that's part of the fun. It's not sanitized like a lot of-
Annie Ross: Yeah, it makes it interesting.
Alan Scott: ... races, you've got to be careful and sort of finishing the day, a big part of that is staying safe and sort of watching your footing on these things. So yeah, and from the water, sort of getting in slowly, keeping an eye on your teammate and then obviously sort of scrambling out of the water, sort of coming out, working out what's the best way to get out. And so it could be slippy again-
Annie Ross: I guess, yeah, you just paddle for a bit and look. Okay, cool.
Alan Scott: Exactly. And they'll try to pick the point where there is sort of an easy way out. They're not gonna sort of pick a sheer, sort of area.
Annie Ross: Please. Yeah. No, I mean, it's one of those things can't be that complicated, because lots of people are doing this. But at the same time I've just seen these photos and I'm like, oh, God.
Annie Ross: And we talked about compasses that most, most of the runs are signed for, like they're not, they're not navigation events.
Alan Scott: No. The compass and the map is there in case you sort of take a little wrong turn. Which is, all of the courses are very well marked but sometimes, especially towards the end of the day, you kind of switch off. You're tired and fatigued. And there'll be a nice clear marked sign there, and you'll just run straight past it. Because you're not paying attention because you're tired and that path looks like it should be the way. You realize you've gone wrong, and usually it's just a case of "Hang on a minute, I haven't seen a bit of ticker tape, or a sign, for last 100 meters, 200 meters."
Alan Scott: So, you just retrace your steps and then find the last point. Worst case scenario, you have your compass and your map and you can sort of work these things out. There's usually other teams around, but you don't necessarily just blindly follow the team in the front. But um, so you sort of go back yourself. Yeah. You don't get lost.
Annie Ross: Cool. All right, so I think I've got a grasp of, yeah, I've got it right. There's a few things different to what I thought.
Annie Ross: So you have what is SwimRun, who SwimRun is for, and the race format. Cool. I think we've covered that one.
Annie Ross: Hopefully that was useful. And, if you've got any questions, just comment below and we will get Alan to answer them because I'm unable to, as you can tell. But I hope that's useful. The next chapter we'll be going into choosing your event, your team mate and training. So tune back in. Thank you.
+ Episode 2: choosing your race, your partner and how to train
Annie Ross: Hello. It is Alan and Annie here for stage two of our question and answer on SwimRun. So, in the last episode we went into what SwimRun is, who it's for, and how the race format actually works.
Annie Ross: And today, we are going into how to choose your race, because there's quite a lot of events out there, and SwimRun isn't as standard as other sports can be. And how to choose your partner as well. You compete with a partner. And also how to train, because it's a new sport. I have no idea. I've got my first SwimRun coming up. Alan is an experienced SwimRunner-
Alan Scott: Yep.
Annie Ross: ... and triathlete and all that kind of stuff, so you've got two levels of experience here. Nothing and something. And so, we're just going to chat and see what questions I've got and what answers Alan's got. Just talk us through the kind of, I don't know, the locations, the different kind of swims you can have, the different terrain, and yeah. Tell us about your experience in that and what you think we should be thinking about, as people choosing our first race, or maybe our second or maybe our third, what kind of variation we've got.
Alan Scott: Okay. I think generally speaking you have the sort of, the longest the world championships, which is 10K swimming and 60-odd K running. Then after that, that one race, which is pretty stand alone being the world champs, there is the sort of distance that you're doing which it can be between 4 and 6K of swimming, and 30 to 40K of running. And that is becoming sort of the industry standard for want of a better word. Around this sort of distance is what a lot of the Otillo and the Breca sort of events are.
Alan Scott: There is also now sprint events, starting to emerge, which are roughly half that again. So if you're new to SwimRun and a little bit, want to ease yourself into it, a bit like a triathlon, perhaps, try sprints. If you're feeling a bit more confident, and want a big day out-
Annie Ross: I'm neither, but I went straight for a marathon, and I went straight for an Olympic distance-
Alan Scott: Exactly.
Annie Ross: ... so I'll just go straight for the normal running, with this. And then probably backtrack, and be like, "I'll just do this one."
Alan Scott: Well, ultimately, it's just the intensity is not quite as, for long, if you're doing it all in one day. It's just a slightly long day, probably get better value for your money.
Annie Ross: There you go. Yeah, thank God I'm doing the long one. That's cool, and then, yeah, so they're all on trails, right? They're all, the standard for SwimRun is wilderness, right?
Alan Scott: Yeah, exactly. So you could be on the coast, almost or going over coastal trails, and sort of dipping into the sea. You can have ones like in Sweden, where it's sort of island hopping. And Otillo means island to island, and that's how it all started.
Annie Ross: And it was a beer race, wasn't it?
Alan Scott: Yeah, it was. A drunken bet.
Annie Ross: Or not beer, it was just [crosstalk].
Alan Scott: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think that was over 10 years ago, now. So, yeah, it's been going for a while.
Annie Ross: Creeping up on us, us endurance athletes.
Alan Scott: And then you may have ones, so Breca for example, has lot up in the Lake Districts, they're all going sort of up, over, sort of mountains or hills, through lakes, so again, it's sort of a different challenge because it's lot more vertical challenges as opposed to the Swedish ones which tend to be sort of flatter.
Annie Ross: Okay.
Alan Scott: And then, some races may have a larger swim portion, so they have to start them on [course]. The Thousand Lakes in Germany last year, which had 10K of swimming but only about 40K running. So you had lots of swimmers that were really attracted to that one, because it obviously favored them. And interestingly enough, some of the kits actually changed as a result of that. So, there were more flippers being used that day.
Annie Ross: You can use flippers?
Alan Scott: You can. You've got to carry them-
Annie Ross: Oh yes, and you want to take your shoes off ... a hassle.
Alan Scott: True. It ended up backfiring on the teams, in the end. So, it was quite interesting. They shoved off to start with and then sort of, their legs wore out [crosstalk]
Annie Ross: I was going to say, that's the same as we talked about with paddles, and we'll go into them in the gear in the episode next time. And that's why training well with these things, you're using different muscles. When you've got flippers on, like, it's much more kind of calf-y, and-
Alan Scott: Exactly. Exactly. And unfortunately, heavy.
Annie Ross: And after running, yeah. And, yeah, exactly. No, no good. Not going to start getting into flippers. It's too late.
Annie Ross: Okay, cool, and then. I'm doing a sea swim, but, on hindsight, I probably would have preferred the lake swim, just because I feel like it's safer. Just, I don't know, just because there's less, there's not the tide and it's less likely to be churn-y. So can you give me some confidence around the sea swim, but, just talk about the differences in general. Obviously float-ability is different and all that kind of stuff.
Alan Scott: Yeah, so obviously when it comes to sea, there's certain variables, more variables that come into, like you say, you've got the tides, also have the waves. There will be more safety on hand, as a result.
Annie Ross: Yeah, okay.
Alan Scott: Also, like you say, the salt water, so you sit higher in the water, you'll be in the wet suit, so the swimming will be a bit easier from that perspective. And it'll be stunning, you'll sort of be hugging the coast. When you're doing a sea swim, you're never going to be ... chances are ... you're never going to be too far away, because you'll be swimming around, maybe from one bay to the other, or just navigating around a bit of the coastline. Whereas sometimes in the lakes, you'll be crossing a larger body of water, so. That's a win, if you're maybe a bit nervous about crossing bodies of water.
Alan Scott: So it's each to their own, and I think a big part of choosing what your race is going to be is, look at what sort of events are on hand and if you're both strong swimmers, maybe pick one that's more, sort of more favors the swimmers. If you're a bit of a whippet, then pick sort of a mountainous ones, so obviously you'll be flying up the hills. That gives you an advantage.
Alan Scott: I love the mountainous ones, because myself and my team mate are sort of a bit light, and some of the big Swedish athletes that can power themselves through the water but when it comes to actually going up hills, they, maybe we come into our own a little bit more. So, picking it in terms of what maybe gives you an advantage, but what appeals to you, what's going to be the most enjoyable day out. And if you like going to the coast, then pick the coastline.
Annie Ross: Yeah, I've chosen mine because I've always wanted to go to the Gower Peninsula.
Alan Scott: It's beautiful.
Annie Ross: I heard about it when I was surfing a few years ago, I just heard it was awesome, so. I was going to go for a week kite surfing before the event, and I thought, no. Just take time, then.
Annie Ross: But yeah, you're right in terms of, there's enough variation out there now to find the thing that suits you. I know there's quite a few coming, so you've got Otillo and Breca, which to me, seem like, I don't know, the two kind of premium ones who are dominating. But there's loads, actually. I mean, there's New [Case] SwimRun, there's Love SwimRun, and there's some in Germany, some in France.
Alan Scott: Yeah, loads. Yeah, loads in Sweden, as well-
Annie Ross: Yeah. Oh, really-
Alan Scott: ... that have popped up, I think pretty much you can race every weekend in Sweden, now. So many, in these little independent companies. But yeah, Otillo is obviously the original and Breca, first in the UK, and then, they both set great industry standards. Haven't done any of the other companies, but I talked to, some of my friends have, had great-
Annie Ross: Yeah, I've heard some of-
Alan Scott: ... great times.
Annie Ross: [crosstalk] those. We'll find out how they went on.
Alan Scott: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alan Scott: Yeah, it's great you're getting to meet all these new people, and just sharing these experiences
Annie Ross: Yeah, it does sound like, compared to a triathlon, which is more kind of dogged and just like, head down, go. And you grimace on your own. I can imagine, and if I was to grimace with this, I'm going to be laughing with my team mate because we're just like, " This is, I'm cold, and I'm fucking miserable-"
Alan Scott: Exactly.
Annie Ross: ... and yeah, it's fine because you've got that person to care with.
Alan Scott: Yeah, the camaraderie's huge.
Annie Ross: Awesome. Okay, good. That's really exciting, absolutely.
Annie Ross: So choosing your, someone [inaudible], whether it's friend or a stranger, what questions should we be asking our potential team mates?
Alan Scott: I think you're best off, if you don't know the individual, going for coffee. Because you're going to be spending a lot of time with this person. You're going to be registering, probably sort of organizing accommodation the night before and the night after. You're going to be spending however many hours during the day. And there will be times during the day when one party is suffering and the other's feeling good, and vice versa. So you're going to need to be patient with each other, supporting each other, and so, you'll either love each other by the end of the day, or maybe-
Annie Ross: Or not.
Annie Ross: And in terms of speed and stuff, should you be matching off with somebody who swims a similar pace to you? Like, because you can use a cable, right? In terms of-
Alan Scott: Yes.
Annie Ross: ... and we'll go, again, we'll go into that in the next section, with gear. But that I presume is so that you stick, when it's to be together, and then from what I've read, if you're a stronger swimmer you can help, I don't know, not pull but you can help lead the person out.
Alan Scott: Yeah.
Annie Ross: Drafting, obviously but also just sticking together in the sea.
Alan Scott: Yeah, sure, that's a good point in terms of, with swim in particular, if there's one much stronger than the other, the cable is a good idea. Its a sort of tow rope, and there's a company called SwimRun Shop, I think, but if there's one stronger swimmer, then you don't want that person to be having to swim slowly, constantly checking over. Because you can get very, very cold very, very quickly.
Alan Scott: I did a race with a chap, a different chap not Hamish my regular partner, last year, called Rockman in Norway. Which is a stunning event in a Norwegian fjord, but the water's very cold. And I got very, very cold because we didn't have a tow system so I had to sort of soft paddle. So, if it potentially, is going to be a cold race, and there is one stronger swimmer, then you definitely want to consider a tow system.
Annie Ross: Okay.
Alan Scott: Just so, more for the stronger swimmer's benefit as much as anything else, plus they can give the person a bit of a tow, because you can work as hard as you like, pulling them.
Annie Ross: [crosstalk] be fine.
Alan Scott: You need to practice with it, but you don't have to use it. So if you get in the run, you don't or if it turns out you're evenly matched in the swim, great. But it's much better to have it and not need it than get cold and not have it.
Annie Ross: Awesome, okay, good.
Annie Ross: So, in summary, we do want, like, ideally you match up in terms of speed, just for the ... or, attitude, friendship and speed.
Alan Scott: Yeah, and you gotta be aware who's stronger at what, and you've gotta be sort of going into this race knowing full well this person's probably stronger for the swim, and this person's slightly stronger with the run. And it is what it is. And that's it. Yeah.
Annie Ross: Well, I'll come and ask you.
Alan Scott: If you are going to use hand paddles, I would definitely recommend starting slow. So you can get some finger paddles, which are smallish paddles that you can start swimming with, and then build up. And you may see some of the Swedish kind of elite athletes with, basically, dinner plates and if you try to do that your arms would fall off on the ground. It's [inaudible].
Alan Scott: So you need to just build up that strength endurance, and then they probably won't like you swimming with trainers on in the swimming pool, but what you can do is, you can get drag pants, which are these kind of billowy sort of pants that go over the top of your costume, which are really attractive.
Annie Ross: I imagine so, oh my God.
Alan Scott: And they have this sort of, you can also-
Annie Ross: This sport just gets weirder and weirder.
Alan Scott: ... Well swimmers have been using them for years, it just slows you down. And what you can always do, which is probably a bit better in terms of simulating trainers is you can buy ankle bands. Which is a bit of material, but if you want you can just use rubber bands or whatever, but just hold your feet together and sort of stops you kicking a bit, and your feet just drag a bit more through the water.
Annie Ross: Yeah, that sounds [crosstalk].
Alan Scott: So it's kind of simulating it, and then, you can population in a pull buoy as well, so you can feel what it's like. So you have the hand paddles and your feet are a little immobilized, so you're getting that extra strain, sort of through your whole upper body, so you're preparing it for-
Annie Ross: Okay. Yeah, I'm thinking, what are we ... yeah, I'm six exactly from event, so I'm thinking it's too late to even start with paddles. And I'm, I don't know.
Alan Scott: I think paddles, you'd be okay.
Annie Ross: Yeah?
Alan Scott: Yeah, I think so, yeah. Annie Ross: And they're not that much, it's just, I guess it just adds webbing, almost?
Alan Scott: Yeah, it gives you a little bit more purchase in the water. And then, worse case scenario, if you start getting sore shoulders, you can stop using them.
Annie Ross: On the training, bearing in mind, lots of triathletes are trying out SwimRun, what would you say in terms, like, the difference between training for triathlon and training for a SwimRun? Obviously the distance, the way you're managing your distances are different.
Alan Scott: Yeah.
Annie Ross: But again, any, could you highlight the differences and what you'd, would recommend?
Alan Scott: Sure, sure. So, a bit like triathlon. I'd say, a bit of strength work is always a good thing, especially if it's, potentially, going to be sort of a hilly course, where you're going to be clambering out of the water, so, strengthening up your legs is a good shout. Again, with the upper body strength, if you can sort of, do a few press ups and what not, because you can be using hand paddles, so sort of increasing that upper body strength as well.
Alan Scott: In terms of the training, perfect if you've got your partner with you, if not, then go into a lake, I use Shepton Lake, which is sort of south, and sort of Surrey way. And there is, lots of these lakes will be, have your sort of swim course, and it might be 400 meter and 700 meter, and then they'll have a running loop around. So you can go in, swim 400 meters, then run a couple of K, and just go in and practice that sort of transitioning, in and out, and you'll pick up things.
Annie Ross: I have so much to do. That is true, but yeah, of course.
Alan Scott: Yeah, so just doing that. And you'll notice little things, it's all tips and tricks, in terms of, it was incredible, I kept getting grit in my trainers when I first started it, because I had ankle socks. And so I actually had to change my socks so it's slightly higher than ankle socks, and it just stopped the grit working its way in as you were coming in and out of the transition. And obviously, you're kicking up sediment and all, so sand getting in the water and that can make its way into your trainers.
Annie Ross: Yeah, and let's talk about it more, because I was told not to wear shorts at all. But we'll talk about it in the gear thing. We'll debate that, socks, no socks. Long socks, short socks.
Alan Scott: Okay, yeah.
Annie Ross: Cool. And then, in the same way that there are triathlon camps, I presume, SwimRun camps are popping up? Alan Scott: Yeah, yeah. I think there's a couple out there. I think there's going to be a few more coming along, so watch this space. And they'll be doing, in something like the SwimRun camp, will be connected running, some trail running and there will be obviously sort of practicing the transitions, doing swim, run, swim, run. Open water swimming. Working with your team mate, because if you can go and swim at a camp with your team mate, that's even better.
Annie Ross: Yeah, of course.
Alan Scott: So all of these things, just so that you sort of gain race craft and confidence. So when you go into that race, it's almost muscle memory, a lot of it.
Annie Ross: Yeah, of course.
Alan Scott: Practice things, or taking off your goggles, where you're going to out your hand paddles, and little things like this that you don't necessarily think about until you start training. And when you start training, you realize, "I'm going to be running with these hand paddles, do I sort of tuck them down my shorts? I'm staring to get hot, do I pull down my wetsuit?"
Alan Scott: And so, it's just practicing all these things. And even a little bit of team mate, teamwork. So, my team mate and I will just sort of unzip each other, so, as we're coming out of the water, if it's a long run, so you're not going to overheat. And then, as you're coming back into transition. So being aware of it, it's like, cap going on. All these little things that can speed the process up.
Annie Ross: Yeah. Okay, cool. Well let's touch more on that next time, with the gear.
Alan Scott: Sure.
Annie Ross: Because I've got loads of questions about that.
Alan Scott: All right.
Annie Ross: You know, I didn't even think that I'd take my swim cap off. And obviously, there's different wetsuits. There's front, there's back zips. And all that kind of stuff. So let's talk about that next episode. So that was, choosing your event, picking your team mate and training. I hope it was useful.
+ Episode 3: equipment
Annie Ross: It's us back again, Alan and Annie, talking about Swimrun. We've done the first episode of what Swimrun is and introducing the concept. It's the second one about choosing your event, your team mate, and how to train, and the last one, because it isn't useful with gear, that's different to most other sports, and there's some particularly unique features to the way you wear your gear, but also the way you use it. We're gonna go into gear today. Alan's going to help. I'm the first time Swimrunner. He's the experienced one. I've bought the basics of the gear, so we're just gonna talk through and make sure I've got the right stuff and what to watch out for when I'm training, building into obviously the race day. So hopefully it will be helpful for you guys as well.
Annie Ross: To start with, the mandatory stuff. So the mandatory kit that I think I need is a wetsuit, because most of these races are done in quite cold water, and it's long distance, isn't it?
Alan Scott: Yeah, northern hemisphere almost certainly is going to be wetsuit mandatory.
Annie Ross: Okay, cool. Goggles, trainers, and I guess, again, we'll go into the details about what within this. That's it, right, really?
Alan Scott: Yeah.
Annie Ross: For the mandatory stuff we're talking about.
Alan Scott: There may be something in the race information about specific things that you need to take and that's why it's important just to always read the race briefing info so things like a map, which they'll give you, and then things like that you need to carry with you at all times. Sometimes a first aid kit. It really depends where you're racing, what kind of terrain, and how remote it is.
Annie Ross: Cool. Then sticking on the mandatory stuff, so wetsuits obviously ... I initially assumed I'll just use my triathlon wetsuit, but then realized obviously you've got to run in your wetsuit, and it's different. You got to carry more stuff with you, because there's not gear picking up and then dropping off. The wetsuit I've got, which is an Orca RS2, I think it is, has got removable sleeves, it's got a zip here, and it's got a pocket here for a zip, and then it's got a front zip. I presume that's when I get out of the water if it's a long run I can take it off completely or is it a case of just unzipping it?
Alan Scott: It depends. If it's a hot day and you've just got a quick transition then you just sort of undo the front zip, let some hot air out, and zip it up. If you've got a 10k run ahead of you, whether you got front zip, back zip, or whatever, then you probably want to peel your wetsuit down to your waist, because you're going to be running for 10k and it's a boil in the bag situation. You will overheat rapidly.
Alan Scott: It all depends. Top tip, write down the race distances on your hand paddle-
Annie Ross: Or your arm if you're not using paddles.
Alan Scott: Yeah, so you know exactly what's coming up so you know whether it's worth taking off your hat and your wetsuit top.
Annie Ross: Important. I'll remember that. Then obviously I assumed that you guys would know this already, but above the knee wetsuit, right? You're not going to ever run in a long ...
Alan Scott: Not necessarily. There's a number of wetsuits out there. There's your triathlon wetsuits you're going to have to cut up and do it yourself. Obviously most people will cut them above the knee. Some specific swimrun wetsuits come as full length, because you may be doing it in very, very cold temperatures. I've never tried one. I don't personally like the idea of a full length ... normally it will come just cut above the knee. If you're doing some DIY at home, which is absolutely fine, I still race in an old triathlon wetsuit, so I've never got around to doing it.
Annie Ross: I don't want to cut mine up.
Alan Scott: If you've got an old one-
Alan Scott: If you've got a brand spanking new one then ...
Annie Ross: It's not new [inaudible] old one. It still looks new because I haven't used it very much. Okay, cool. You've got the option. You don't have to go and buy-
Alan Scott: Too, something with the arms for example, you really need to look at what race you're doing and what the conditions are going to be like. Chances are it's going to be a really sunny day, then you may want to cut above the elbow. If it's looking like the conditions are going to be cold then leave your arms on.
Annie Ross: So flexible.
Alan Scott: Yeah, obviously you only get to make that decision once. Maybe some are removable. Did you say-
Annie Ross: My swimrun specific one has sleeves that ... I presume you put the sleeves on first. They basically go to here. Then the one piece wetsuit is short sleeved. You know those tattoo sleeves?
Alan Scott: Yeah.
Annie Ross: It's like that.
Alan Scott: Or like cycling arms. Annie Ross: Exactly. I have an easy choice, a flexible choice as to whether I want to wear them or not.
Annie Ross: Goggles. Goggles that just don't fog up.
Alan Scott: Anti mist spray. Just make sure you get some anti mist spray. You're going to in and out of the water-
Annie Ross: And carry it with you?
Alan Scott: No, just put it on in the buildup to the race, because you're going to be coming in and out of the water all day long. The last thing you want to do is your goggles misting up on the first swim, having to be worried about that. You're going to be doing a lot of sighting when you're swimming so you don't want misty goggles.
Annie Ross: No, okay, cool. Don't touch the lenses once you've put ... don't go shoving your fingers ...
Alan Scott: Potentially don't get heavily tinted goggles if it's not a particularity sunny day. Again, it's the visibility. The antifog is the main one, I think. Goggles don't leak, so test the goggles.
Annie Ross: Let's talk about trainers. You can't just use any old trainers, because we're on trails climbing over rocks in most events. Also I think the swimmers in trainings, you don't want ones that hold water because you're sloshing around in it. Does that summarize it? Trainers that dry quick.
Alan Scott: Exactly. You want draining trainers. There are now swimrun specific shoes, of course, but you don't need to get them. As long as the trainers will drain, and if it's trail running, which chances are, that they've got decent tread.
Annie Ross: Cool. Super. The race gives you a swim cap. I guess they want everyone looking synced up. And a numbered vest that you put on over your wetsuit.
Alan Scott: Yes. Annie Ross: How does that work when you want to unzip your wetsuit and you've got a vest on?
Alan Scott: It's a bit of a faff, not going to lie. You either just unzip underneath, or you can take off your bib once you put it back on once you've peeled down the wetsuit. Again, if you're doing a long run then you've got time to deal with these things when you go. Just stop.
Annie Ross: [inaudible] stop, and do this. Cool. Okay. In terms of the other stuff, we've talked in the previous episodes about pull boys. We mentioned the flippers. I didn't know that was there. And the hand paddles. Socks. Those to me are all things to be debated, I think. Each person will do different things depending on the lead in to train for this stuff. What are your thoughts on what I should be or any first time swimrunner should be thinking about with those?
Alan Scott: Make sure you're, again, kit testing. Whatever you go with, you want to make sure you test it. I recommend a pull boy. Then you attach the pull boy by drilling a few holes in the pull boy, bungee cords, and then it attaches around your leg, and you flip it around, and then flip it. It's dead easy. Just make sure it's tight enough. Again, practice with it, because if you haven't you might find it actually drops down to your feet and keeps tripping you up if you haven't done it tight enough.
Annie Ross: So annoying.
Alan Scott: It is.
Annie Ross: Has it happened to you?
Alan Scott: If one of the bungees goes off during the race it's ...[crosstalk 00:08:20]
Annie Ross: Because these races are all wilderness outdoors adventure, nature is at the forefront. It's not like you can just jettison something, because I presume it's [inaudible].
Alan Scott: I should hope so, yeah, exactly. I don't think I've ever seen a gel packet or anything during a race. People are super respectful, because you are in beautiful locations.
Annie Ross: Awesome. Okay. Everyone in the photos who's winning races is using hand paddles.
Alan Scott: Yep. I'd say start small. Get finger paddles, work your way up. Hand paddles will help.
Annie Ross: So finger paddles are the ones that are tight. They're just smaller in-
Alan Scott: Yeah, if you take your hand there it's almost a paddle area just around where your fingers are. It's not even the whole of the hand. It's a slightly bigger catch in the water. It will help give you a little bit more purchase, but it's not going to overload your shoulder. If that feels then you can always potentially upgrade, because a lot of hand paddles come in small, medium, large. You can build up to bigger ones, or find your happy size. Obviously a big guy who's got huge muscles can get away with the bigger hand paddle than someone who's a bit weedier.
Annie Ross: Me basically. Cool. I'll just keep playing around with it. There were suggestions that I wouldn't need socks. You [crosstalk]
Alan Scott: I would disagree with that, because grit is going to work its way into your shoes. It'll be a great exfoliant on your foot, but it's not going to be particularly nice. I personally race with socks that are slightly than ankle socks, so they sit about an inch above my ankle. That way it's not too material, because think about the weight, but I'm not getting grit working its way into my show or into my sock, more importantly. Some people wear the full knee length socks.
Annie Ross: Like compression socks and that stuff.
Alan Scott: They're proper swimrun socks. Each to their own. Doesn't work for me. But again, some people swear by it.
Annie Ross: That's something I can move into. I think for the first time ... I never wore compression socks for running [crosstalk].
Alan Scott: Exactly, if you don't use them for running ...
Annie Ross: No, I'll leave it. Maybe I should get socks. Okay, cool. A watch?
Alan Scott: Yes.
Annie Ross: I guess you want to know where you're at. Alan Scott: Yeah, I use a Garmin, but other brands are available. If you have some sort of triathlon watch, a lot of them now have swimrun settings.
Annie Ross: That's important because you need more legs basically.
Alan Scott: Exactly. You can set the watch up for the race. The watch I've got has only got seven swimruns before you have to restart it, whereas the more modern watches now I think have got more than that. The reason you need to do that is you will have maybe 20 transitions and different distances during that day. You need to have written down what the distances are and what you're about to do. You don't want to be starting a 1k swim thinking, "Is this a 200k swim?"
Annie Ross: 200k!
Alan Scott: Sorry, "200 meter swim?" You need to know what's coming up next. Having that watch, in terms of knowing the distance and what you've done, and knowing how far you've got to go ... if it's a 10k run you can look at your watch, "Yep, 5k left." We're going to put our wetsuits back on. We'll do that [inaudible].
Annie Ross: For you it matters because you're competing. I think for me-
Alan Scott: It's useful. It's not essential.
Annie Ross: It's useful. It's not essential. But definitely the writing distances is one of my key takeaways so far, because yeah I can imagine it being really frustrating if you're like, "I can't [inaudible]," and you're tied anyway and you just want to know.
Alan Scott: I think mentally it really helps you knowing what you've got next and coming up, because if there's one particular one that you're dreading or looking forward to, you can see that coming up. Plus you also write down the aid stations, because nutrition is a huge part of triathlon, swimrun, or any sort of endurance event. Knowing how many gels to take on, what to take with you ... if it's going to be two hours between the next aid station, or half an hour, depends on how much you're going to take with you. Having these things written down is key.
Annie Ross: Of course. If your wetsuit hasn't got a pocket you're just putting rubbish up your shorts.
Alan Scott: Yeah, my wetsuit doesn't have a pocket so I put the rubbish, pop them up my sleeve, and gels sometimes just will stick them down my neck, and then I can rummage around.
Annie Ross: The reason I was suggesting shorts is if you do decide to take off your ... if you're about to do a long run.
Alan Scott: Yeah, don't forget.
Annie Ross: Okay.
Alan Scott: With the shorts, one issue sometimes is it can work it's way out and fall out if you're running and the ...
Annie Ross: Yeah, your movement. Be careful. Don't litter. Most swimruns seem to be very environmentally conscious. I know Breca have just gone cupless at the checkpoints. They're not for plastic and rubbish reasons having that. For example, like we talked about, does anyone check the mandatory guest event, for each event, because it is specific, I need to remember to take a soft flash that I fill up at checkpoints. Then when it's empty it [inaudible]. I guess at checkpoints I can get rid of my rubbish, right?
Alan Scott: Absolutely.
Annie Ross: There's quite a lot of brands in the swimrun space. It seems like everyone is jumping in in some capacity.
Alan Scott: Yeah, most of the triathlon companies who make wetsuits are venturing into swimrun specific suits. If you want to feel you want to get a swimrun suit. Then there's a couple of new swimrun specific companies that are emerging.
Annie Ross: That swimrun shop that we talked about, are they creating their own product?
Alan Scott: They've started to, yeah. They have their own hand paddles. Some of the pull boys that people are using are monsters, huge pull boys people are using just to give their legs more elevation.
Annie Ross: Do you and your teammate use a bungee cord?
Alan Scott: Yes, we do. We don't always use it during the race, but we'll take it. If someone's having a bad day or someone is tired you have the option there. If I've bombed and run out of energy, then he can just drag me a long for a bit while I recover. If my shoulder is getting sore on a swim then at least-
Annie Ross: He can take some of the load.
Alan Scott: Yeah, he can take some of the load. It's a great option to have for sure.
Annie Ross: Okay, we'll try that when training. I see this as experimental one. Then I'll probably get competitive and start going faster the next one I do.
Alan Scott: I think that's part of the beauty with the kit. Lots of people make their own and design their own pull boys. I think there is a maximum you can use.
Annie Ross: Yeah, it's specified. On all the websites I've looked at it says what are the dimensions. It's huge.
Alan Scott: Yeah, I've seen some of these guys have built their own flippers out of carbon flipper that probably cost hundreds and hundreds of euros.
Annie Ross: Quit fun though, isn't it?
Alan Scott: Yeah, I guess if you like tinkering and creating these things for marginal gains.
Annie Ross: Triathlons are so well established, if you want a faster bike you just chuck money at the problem kind of thing, whereas this seems a bit more ... I like it, it sounds more fun.
Alan Scott: There's lots of room for innovation. It's good fun.
Annie Ross: Hopefully it stays like that, because the more and more people who pour into it, I wonder if it starting to get branded, and actually it's really nice having it as quite collaborative. Between the swimrun companies you mentioned earlier on, that they're collaborative amongst themselves or out on the course everyone is a lot more like, "Choo," rather than "Grr." That's cool. I think for me that's all I had. No, I think that's all. If you've got any other questions do comment below and we will get back to them. The Breca forum on brecaswimrun.com is a really good resource in terms of getting peers in the swimrun event industry to answer. Also you've got the experts checking that and answering.
Annie Ross: Any questions either below or on the forum. In the meantime, thank you Alan, so much. I've learned so much. I'm feeling definitely a lot more clear in what I've got ahead of me. A little bit scared that I haven't got enough time to do all that proper testing with my partner. We'll see. We'll be fine.
Alan Scott: A little on the job. That's part of the fun.
Annie Ross: A little on the job. Maybe I'll post something after the event and give some feedback. Yeah, hope you enjoyed that. We'll see you around. Bye bye.