Overheard or seen at the races

Chelsey Bailey, event organiser at As Keen As Mustard, shares some of the things she’s seen, been asked or has overhead at swimrun events.

At an event briefing, discussing how to carry the compulsory kit

First swimrunner: “Where am I going to put my cup, whistle and bandage?”

Second swimrunner: “Oh love, my bra has never been so full!” 

Out on the course, negotiating obstacles

I once saw a tethered team of swimrunners picking different sides to go around a tree, which resulted in an amusing case of elastic recoil. 

All the gear and no idea (1)

I have countless times watched swimrunners put on their paddles before their goggles, then hit themselves in the face (sometimes repeatedly) with the paddles while they struggle to put their goggles on.

All the gear and no idea (2)

I heard this frustrated shout from someone in the water: “I'm not gaining anything from this pull buoy!” He had attached it to his waist and it was floating above him, rather than between his legs and supporting them. 

On exiting the water with grace and elegance

This was another tethering mishap. The leading team member managed a good clean exit from the water and up the bank. Unfortunately, their teammate missed their step and tumbled. The tether between them snapped tight pulling the first team member backwards with their arms windmilling while a marshal sprinted to catch them. 

What do I do with my shoes?

From a pre-race email: “I have a question about your swimrun event. I'm a strong swimmer and I can run the distance required, however I'm a bit stumped on what to do with my trainers when I'm swimming. How do people get their trainers from A to B to C?”

(Note for anyone reading this who isn’t a swimrunner yet: most people simply keep their shoes on while swimming in swimrun events and swim in them. This is explained on swimrun event websites and in event briefing notes)


But Chelsey is not immune to making mistakes of her own. Here are two she shared with us:

(1)   Running headlong along the rocks in Gothenburg, I got to what looked like a grassy section. Most people skipped round the rocks but I thought I’d spotted a short cut. I jumped onto the grass and sunk to my thighs. Next time, I’ll follow the Swedes.

(2)   In Costa Brava, 2022, we faced a sea swell of around 4 meters during the first swim section. There was another team of swimrunners swims between Nicky and I, and we somehow managed to get their tether knotted with ours. Nicky was still swimming towards the beach but was now dragging not only me but two other swimrunners, backwards. You can imagine how much fun we had untangling ourselves while being swirled by powerful eddies, battered by large waves and struggling to communicate.

What amusing (if only in hindsight) incidents have you experienced on a swimrun. Let us know: info@swimrunner.world