SOME GOOD NEWS!
Despite all the disappointing cancellations of local triathlons and open water swims this year due to the Covid-19 Public Health restrictions, the City of Kelowna has given us the green light to run our swimrun event in 2020! It has helped that we are a small event, we haven't had much congregating in previous events, and our race is scheduled in the late summer, occurring after many restrictions have already been eased.
STAYING WITHIN THE PROVINCIAL HEALTH GUIDELINES:
The City has provided us clear guidelines on how to run our event safely, based on current directives from the BC Ministry of Health--some of which may well be relaxed by or before our event date. Here is what you need to know:
If we sell out our event (maximum 100 participants--50 teams of two), with a maximum of 50 racers in each of two events, then we at worst we may need two waves for each event, such that there are never more than 50 persons in one place at a time, the current Public Health restriction (which would include volunteers, spectators and racers). The race itself would have no concerns for accumulations of 50 people. And as long as we dispersed everyone from the finish line after the event, there would not be any accumulations there either. Hand sanitizer will be limited to various touchpoints, such as the start/finish line package pickup area and the aid stations. Since racers will be in the water alot, they should all have pretty clean hands!
SO COME RACE WITH US!
Get your runners on with your wetsuit, and go jump in the lake to get your training started! As previous years, clinics will start 2 weeks before race day (Announcements to follow).
Here are two more reasons to race with us this year: First, we have moved up the date by 2 weeks, so that the water will still have some summer warmth in it. And second, we have reduced the entry fee by $40 per person! And this is a rate you will always get as an alumnus in the years to come. What is not to like about that? Keep in mind, though, that participation in this race is capped. That number will be confirmed with the City shortly.
A Quick Primer on Swimrun
Yes, we here in the Okanagan were the first in BC to host a "swimrun"--an introductory event in September 2017. And no, this was not an Aquathon. Rather, swimrun is the newest and fastest growing endurance sport since triathlon was introduced in the late 1970s. While it seems simpler, with just swimming and running legs, it has new challenges for the endurance athlete, especially with the many transitions from running to swimming and back to running. And there are a couple of catches: you swim in your runners, and you run in your wetsuit. Oh, and you enter as pairs, whether men’s, women’s, or mixed. Swimrun is a team sport--so it's no longer just about you!
In recent years the big swimrun events in Europe are all about off-road and open water adventure racing, with as many as 25 transitions between water and land, a decidedly primal way of enjoying big country. Part of the attraction seems to be the lack of need for high tech, expensive equipment and a return to raw abilities—you let the environment dictate your day with unpredictable and often rocky, steep trail runs, unsettled weather, and usually cold, active open water. Those who improvise and support each other as a team, and adapt best, prevail. To get a flavor of the essence of swimrun, check out the race summary either of the 2017, 2018 or 2019 Ötillö World Championships--humbling, indeed.
Here in Kelowna, we have created an "urban" version to introduce this new sport--with flat runs and shoreline swims, perhaps we should call it swimrun "lite"--more on that here. So check out the sprint course here and the full course here.
Swim in Your Runners
There's many swim and run legs, so no time to take your shoes on and off, nor would you want to carry them while swimming. Just keep them on for the entire race--you will be surprised how easy it is!
Run in Your Wetsuit
Taking your wetsuit off to run is time-consuming and difficult to put back on, so just get out of the water and run with it on--just unzip it if you get too hot.
TEAMS TIED TOGETHER
Although not mandatory for this event, many teams elect to tether themselves together to enhance drafting and safety in the water.