The inaugural SwimRun NC brought 52 teams of 2 from across the country to Hanging Rock State Park to tackle a beautiful and very challenging course. 14.3 miles of running and 1.8 miles of swimming split up into 11 runs and 9 swims in the unique ÖTILLÖ inspired SwimRun format.
Daniel Lloyd and Daniel Kasberg (team Danwich) from Ohio grabbed the win in the male division in 3:15:23 and Curtis Royek and Riley Smith (Team RAMROD) from Pennsylvania finished 2nd in 3:18:44, but both teams are part of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. North Carolina residents Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity (GU Crew) rounded out the podium in 3:23:04. The mixed division was won by Lawrence Brede and Jaime Brede (Team Tigercub) from NC in 3:43:59. The runner-up team Brant Armentrout and Betsy Armentrout (Have Some) also are from NC and finished in 3:52:21, and third place in the mixed division went to NC residents Amy Krakauer and Marcus Carson (Team MACK Attack) in 4:02:09. The female division was also tightly contested with Misty Becerra from Florida and Sophia Chadwick from Canada (Have We Met?) taking the win in 3:52:37. Second place went to Holly Benner and Mary Kay Krause from Pennsylvania (No Seaweed) in 3:55:51 and third place to Kristen Jeno and Jennifer Perrottet (Sole Sista's) from North Carolina in 3:56:59.
The waterfalls section was challenging and memorable for all participants.
The winning mixed team Lawrence and Jaime Brede on the way up, up, and up.
Misty Becerra of the winning Have We Met? team is followed by Keith Davis of team Mutt and Jeff through a challenging section.
The fastest path was straight under the waterfall, but many teams opted to squeeze through behind the rock.
This parking lot just before the lake was the only flat and paved section athletes encountered on the course.
The first swim in the Hanging Rock State Park lake saw some teams still pretty close together.
In harmony together across the lake and ready for more swiming, running and swimming.
The cold water was a refreshing help for tired legs.
Pushing through the short 25 meter section.
The section behind the dam at the lake was also very challenging.
Curtis Royek and Riley Smith on the way to second place in the male division.
Kenneth Fletcher and Russ Gannon of team Lynyrd Swymyrd get in the water for another 500 meter effort.
The air temperatures were a bit warm for this time of the year, but that held no one back.
The third placed GU Crew team of Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity descend down behind the lake dam.
The course offered a variety of terrain and challenges. But running was possible in most parts.
Where is that swim finish?
Fully focused onward to the next run segment.
The Dan river offered a very different challenge. It was relatively low and participants could only swim 50-70% the rest was scrambling, floating or playing salamander.
A big smile from Lindsay Stalowy of team Between a Walk and a Hard Pace with the finish very close.
The second SwimRun NC at Hanging Rock State Park will be on October 29, 2017 and the registration will be handled via runsignup.com. Initially only open to racers and volunteers from the 2016 event, then to other experienced endurance athletes.
All images © Brian Fancher Photography / SwimRun NC