The second year running and Great North SwimRun was just as good as I remember! It’s SUCH an epic event, more of a trail adventure than a straight up race, and if you’re into open water and up for a challenge, I’d sign yourself up for next year, stat. It's easily one of my fave events of the year!
Great Swim launched SwimRun into the UK last year up in the Lake District, and I’ve done it both years running with my dad — we absolutely love it. You enter in pairs and you’re not allowed to be further than 10m away from each other throughout the course. It’s teamwork! This year, we were blessed with the most beautiful sunny weather — a real contrast to last year’s really miserable drizzle! We did the short distance again, which is a 12km total course. I thought we might go middle distance this time (21km total distance!) but I’m not gonna lie, I’m really quite glad we didn’t — trail running in a wetsuit is tough!!
This year started in Brockhole on Windermere. You’re taken on a lovely boat ride over the lake to the start line, where everyone is in such good spirits — it’s not like a half marathon where everyone’s focused with their headphones in, everyone’s just there to have a great time.
I actually found the running bit harder than the swimming, I think because I’m so used to running on roads in the city, I’m not used to the different terrain and the hills! My dad’s such a trooper, I think I was holding him back! So cool running through the beautiful Lake District though!
Jumping off of a jetty into a lake in a trainers is a really bizarre sensation! But swimming across Windermere in the sunshine felt so amazing — especially as we were doing breaststroke so we could enjoy the scenery too!
The concept is you run, swim, run, swim… so yep, you’re in soggy trainers after the first swim. It takes a little getting used to but most of the water is soon out so it’s really not as bad as you’d think. The final swim - the longest one - was glorious. We kind of just soaked up the sun and the atmosphere and really didn’t want to get out! We finished with a time of 2:25hrs, in 33rd position! Pretty proud of that!
Already excited for next year! Sign up for the reminder service now, you’re gonna love it!