The Swimrun season in North America started in early April, but 2 races - SwimRun Catawba and SwimRun Georgia - were cancelled due to severe thunderstorms. In Georgia the race was initially only delayed by 2 hours, and with the weather looking better the race was started. But then with athletes 30 minutes into the course, thunder and lightning returned and race director Tony Hammett made the difficult and correct call to stop the the race. But a week later SwimRun Lake James took place in North Carolina, and Lake James is the first of four ÖTILLÖ merit races in the USA.
The number of endurance athletes taking on these new-to-the-US multisport races is growing fast and so too are the number of racing opportunities on offer throughout the country.
According to the popular SwimRunShop calendar, there are now over 500 races worldwide (the vast majority in Europe), with more than 50 new races slated for 2019 alone.
The first events in the US were held in 2016, but now there are more than 40 offerings to choose from. A few of those offerings are very small with only a handful of teams and it would be difficult to officially classify them as races. However, there are now a dozen or so competitive events taking place that are challenging for even the most seasoned triathlete.
Back in January, rankings were released following the completion of the 2018 US Swimrun season and these were published on Slowtwitch.
For 2019, Marc Blake at Pacific Multisports will collect results and publish rankings more frequently throughout the year. To showcase what the rankings will look like, Blake compiled results following the Lake James event, an ÖTILLÖ merit event receiving bonus points.
In addition to awarding points for Long Course Team categories, the rankings will now also include Short Course and Solo format. The minimum course distance requirement for a race to be included is 12-kilometers total.
What will teams and athletes be racing for? Bragging rights, of course. But also, the top ranked overall Male / Female / Mixed Teams and Male / Female Individual will each receive an exclusive trophy earning them the title of Best in the US. Swimrun is a very inclusive sport, but it is still fun to see where you stack up against other participants.
Below is a list of the ranking criteria to show how points will be awarded.
We are sharing the current ranking to give folks an idea of how it works, but the ranking will not be updated after every race. Marc will be updating rankings throughout the year as follows:
SwimRun Ranking Update #1: April - June
SwimRun Ranking Update #2: July - August
SwimRun Ranking Update #3: September - November
As we mentioned earlier there are plenty of races in North America, and surely something within reach for anyone that is interested. Plus traveling to a SwimRun race is logistically easy, and thus folks are often willing to travel further to these races. Pretty much all the gear you need can be in your carry-on bag and once you arrive at the airport any compact or sub-compact rental car will offer you enough space to travel with your team mate and all your gear to the race venue. So now, here is a list of upcoming SwimRun races in North America. This is not every race out there, but the biggest ones we know about.
2019 North American SwimRun Calendar
May 11, 2019 - IGNITE SwimRun Maryland
May 19, 2019 - Crawlman SwimRun (Georgia)
June 9, 2019 - Bellingham SwimRun (Washington)
June 30, 2019 - IGNITE SwimRun Knoxville (Tennessee)
July 6, 2019 - Amphibious Challenge Montreal (Quebec, Canada)
July 13, 2019 - Ödyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor (Massachusetts)
August 4, 2019 - SwimRun Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)
August 10, 2019 - IGNITE SwimRun Minnesota
August 11, 2019 - Ödyssey SwimRun Casco Bay Islands (Maine) * ÖTILLÖ merit race
August 17, 2019 - Garden State SwimRun (New Jersey)
September 7, 2019 - Amphibious Challenge Sheenboro (Quebec, Canada)
September 8, 2019 - Ödyssey Les Cheneaux Islands (Michigan)
September 14, 2019 - IGNITE SwimRun Rhode Island
September 22, 2019 - Ödyssey SwimRun Orcas Island (Washington) * ÖTILLÖ merit race
October 6, 2019 - SwimRun Tennessee
October 19, 2019 - IGNITE SwimRun Virginia
October 27, 2019 - SwimRun NC (North Carolina) * ÖTILLÖ merit race
And to answer a very common question, no you do not have to swim with paddles and pull buoys. But they are allowed, and so are tethers and even fins. But whatever an athlete chooses to take on the course has to be carried to the finish and cannot be dropped along the way. What to take is a tactical decision for teams. The same is also true in terms of layers, and that is personal to each athlete. Some athletes get cold easier than others, and some can handle heat better than others. And some athletes simply do not care either way.