swimrun revisited

After a great first timer experience (see my account here) I have lost my heart to swimrun. My second swimrun event -the first edition of #laketolakefinland in Luukki- was conceived in a very similar fashion as the Porkkala swimrun race. Again, this race too was well organised, in a rather cosy way, laid back and with familiar faces from Porkkala – not even the rain and occasional thunder were bothering. The huge inflatable start and finish line gate was only being pump and the organiser’s desk in the tent prepared when arriving to the area, I felt the urge to help, but refrained. The organisers were people, they themselves were building everything up, the event was not a faceless marketing driven machine. It was really easy to relate to this. Far from perfect, but still working, just the way I would have gone about it, just the way I prefer it.

listen up, rules and code of conduct

A total of 46 teams in four categories were listed on the organiser’s site – a rather small lot, see the short pre-race clip above. Team Gäili Stächer, our team, was not after the medals, but rather racing for fame and glory 😝 Twenty minutes before the race start rules, code of conduct and the route markings were explained.

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Probably not exclusive to swimrun but still very important it was nice to notice how explicitly camaraderie was emphasised by the organiser. Understandably so for alternate swimming and running, the change from a horizontal to vertical position, puts a lot of stress on your body which may become evident especially upon exiting water. So everybody is required to look out for others and if need be to help.

Below still a few #järvestäjärveen pre-race impressions: positive surprise were the lockers and some home made gear solutions.

On your marks, ready, go!

The only change to my gear set up was the additional running vest. The reason for this was the action camera I chose to take along this time. The 3min clip below although shaky at times gives you an insight into what it can be to swim and run in the woods and lakes. Previously I had tucked the gels into my wetsuit’s inner pouches but now they were in the vest. I am not sure whether I am going to use the vest again for swimrunning, because swimming seemed like an ordeal this time. Finding a good rhythm was hard, my shoulders seemed rock hard and I had the feeling my vest was acting more like a break, just adding to the drag.  Running on the other hand felt good, I was able to push myself. Only after the last swim section my legs were concrete blocks I barely was able to move.

The course itself was beautiful and luckily pretty soon after the start the sun came through the clouds more and more. The race consisted of 13 legs of running partly on technically demanding forest trails and partly on nice and wide recreational sandy paths and of 12 legs of swimming in a total of 8 different lakes which of the last (Luukin järvi) had a funny smell and taste to it.

My wrist watch data (gps/map/time) is viewable here.

Some more impressions from after the race.

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And one more pair finishing.

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And two ceremonial photographs.

Swimrun season

in Finland is short. There is one more race coming up (the Solvalla swimrun) but according to the organiser you need a special wetsuit because of low temperatures. Unfortunately getting a third wetsuit for me is not possible so this one as much as I would want to participate is out of reach. Soon I’ll be back in the indoor pool and spooling as much as my head can take. Running wise I am quite excited as autumn is slowly kicking in and temperatures become bearable. The close-by landfill of Vuosaari will be my main training turf for this winter.

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