VIVOBAREFOOT FOUNDER, GALAHAD CLARK, REPORTS BACK FROM OUR FIRST STATESIDE SWIMRUN
Swimrun has yet to take off in America. But it will!
The Americans have started popping up on the OtillO circuit (the original and best Swimrun series in Europe originating on the idyllic island of Uto in the Stockholm archipelago) and they are fast and enthusiastic to ‘blow the sport up’ Stateside.
There are currently 5 Swimrun events in America and if France is anything to go by, there will be hundreds of races in the next few years.
San Diego, Mission Bay, is by far the most urban Swimrun I’ve ever seen – but it’s also about as lovely a ‘downtown’ Swimrun venue as you could imagine. Clear, spacious, flat and protected waters lapping onto white sand beaches with a consistent smattering of wildlife.
And it was HOT! Touching 30 degrees by 11am in mid-October. Most of the 100 competitors did not wear wet-suits and yours truly melted on the longer runs. A 15km course with 6 swims and 7 runs was a perfect entrée to Swimrun and everyone finished with aplomb.
I was struck by the potential of this stunning coastline (packed with seals, leopard sharks, turtles and extremely fit human wildlife) to inspire a mass participation in Swimrun both as a competitive sport but also as a recreational activity. Once people release the hoodoo of ‘either’ going swimming or running and start just jumping in the water when they’re out on a run and or get out and trot over to the next bay once they’ve finished their swim – one can envision an explosion of the sport.
The Californian spirit is perfect for Swimrun: hanging out in nature with your buddy, it’s more relaxed and welcoming than your typical outdoor sporting family. It’s also much less onerous on the body than non-stop running and much more fun than non-stop swimming. The combination of the meditative calm floating in the bobbing Pacific and friendly interactive trails is intoxicating and allows you a full body work out that lasts longer than one would ordinarily be out.
California Swimrun are a cool bunch of guys led by Andy (an veteran retired global health care provider and serial adventure racer) and Sean (an up-and-coming caterer and deliverer of good times) that have a host of exciting new races up their sleeves. The San Diego event on March 25th promises to be a bonanza as 35k people are expected to flock onto the bay as it shares calendar with the Crew Classic. With 3 million people in San Diego and easy access from anywhere in California – this event has potential to introduce record numbers to the wonderful human activity of Swimrun.
Vivobarefoot are proud to be a part of that process and will do what it can to bring as many people to San Diego on the Spring Equinox.
The month’s event was truly a great day for the Race… The Human Race.
That’s the way California Rolls.