IGNITE SwimRun Virginia was held on Saturday, October 20th for the third consecutive year in Richmond, Virginia.
33 of the 41 registered teams completed the 17-mile course held in the James River Park System. The 3+ miles of swimming took place in the James River while the 14+ miles of running crossed trails and neighborhood roads.
Race producers titled the event the National SwimRun Championship and winning teams from nine qualifying races received entry to compete alongside those in the general entry division.
The point to point course started on wide lane roads allowing the race to spread out in the early miles.
As the field thinned out, racers took to sidewalks leading down to the trails.
Air and water temps were in the low 60's with overcast skies and light rain throughout the day, near ideal conditions for swimrun.
The persistent drizzle made for a few muddy crossings out on course.
And a quick moving river made for fast swim and overall times.
The race for the overall win was hotly contested between Team Wattie Ink - Robert Flanigan and ex-pro triathlete Eric Limkemann - and Team Gu Crew - Marcus Barton and Keith Schumann.
Athletes found themselves traversing small islands in the middle of the fast-flowing James River.
Knee and waist-high wading was required to get to some of the marked swim exits.
Buoys were placed in the river to provide better sighting and course navigation.
Exits typically have staff or volunteers marking off a checklist to keep close tabs on all the teams.
The top mixed team was Team AmphiBOS - Gregory and Bronwen Dierksen - who kept the top mens teams on their toes.
In the end, Team Wattie Ink proved to be too strong for the chasing teams.
And the duo from Richmond captured the overall win in 2 hours 45 minutes, a 2:32 advantage over runner-up Team Gu Crew.
Tony Hammett of SwimRun Georgia with partner Kristy Powell Smith enjoying a bridge section with a view of the James River below and the Richmond skyline serving as a backdrop. Powell Smith kindly subbed for the pregnant Lisa Hammett spouse of Tony Hammett.
The event was created and produced by IGNITE SwimRun and organizers Danny Serpico and Jay Peluso.
The National SwimRun Championship featured qualified racers from the following races: California SwimRun, SwimRun Georgia, SwimRun Lake James, Crawlman SwimRun, Garden State SwimRun, IGNITE SwimRun Maryland, IGNITE SwimRun Pennsylvania, IGNITE SwimRun Minnesota and IGNITE SwimRun Rhode Island.