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Of the 120 teams, 100 will be selected on merit and the other 20 teams via a lottery. Teams can be either all male, all female or mixed, and it is perfectly legal to use swim paddles, pull buoys and tethers, but all equipment a team starts with must be carried the whole distance. Team members are also required to never be more than 10 meters apart, and that is an important safety aspect. Furthermore, team members are not only encouraged to help each other but also should keep an eye and assist others too.
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The elevation graph gives below you an idea that this event is not going to be a walk in the park, and it is not just the way up that is tough. Coming down from the mountain will require skills and confidence and both on the way up and the way down many creek crossings have to be tackled.
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There are plenty of stunning views along the course but the focus will surely have to be on the footing and the path ahead. Here race directors Jan Kriska and Jeff Beckelhimer run below the lake thy have just exited a couple hundred yards earlier.
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Some of the swimming is done in the Dan River, but most of the swimming takes place in the lake halfway up the mountain.
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To reach the highest point of the course many steps of various depths and heights have to be tackled before a stunning view is finally revealed. The amount of steps was not confirmed, but all who have run up those steps can confirm that it is a very difficult activity.
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Race director Jan Kriska and well experienced SwimRun athlete Marcus Barton get to enjoy the view during a recon run of the SwimRun NC course. But what goes up, must come down.