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swimrun details

Although this event is still in development stages in terms of the final course, we'll give you some details of what to expect.  This might change a wee bit, but probably not too much.  This race will feature a mix of fast trails, rugged trails, coasteering, river swimming, near shore swims, and (potentially) roughwater lake crossings.  There will be quite a few islands and a little bit of bush bashing.  There will be a handful of aid stations (not as many as you might expect...) and so teams will need to think hard about the logistics of what they are going to carry.  The course will be lightly marked at places but teams will need to keep their heads about them.  Maps will be provided. Some control points will be manned, but many will be AR style, with checkpoints and punches.  Oh, and the water might be cold.  Still want to come?  Standard swimrun rules will apply, meaning you can wear fins or use pull buoys or handpaddles, tow your partner, etc.  

  • pre-race meeting (night before, Friday, March 8th).  Time and location TBD. 
  • March 9th, race start--first light (~7:30 am). Transportation logistics to be arranged
  • race cutoff--TBD, but will need to be past done with second to last swim by sunset (~7:30-8 pm)
Cost:  TBD, but roughly $50 per person. Cost will include any transport requirements and a post race meal and showers.

Map: For an interactive map, click HERE  [Note, course design is still being tinkered with and likely won't be finalized until october/november.  But it probably won't change too much...]

Categories:  Coed, male, and female.

Recommended gear:   
  • Wetsuit
  • Proper footwear (there is plenty of coasteering on the course)
  • Swim cap (possibly provided, TBD)--if not provided bring a bright one
  • Compass (1 per team)
  • Map, provided (1 per team)
  • Whistle (per person)
  • PLB (one per team)--maybe...we're still thinking about this one. 
  • Recommended--inflatable tow bag
Risks management:  We will address this in more detail closer to the race, but there is much for potential racers to be made aware of.  First of all, with the current course design (subject to change) there are two sections of down-river swimming.  These are some of the easier sections of the river but for those uninitiated to the art of river swimming, well...educate yourselves.  Those with experience travelling rivers in kayaks or rafts with a good working knowledge of river dynamics should be fine (famous last words).  And it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway--NO TOWING your partner on moving water!  Keep those ropes around your waist or in your bags!

In addition to moving water and the other fun issues of swimrun (hypothermia, fatigue, cramping, etc), our race will have quite a bit of coasteering.  This means that you want to be comfortable on your feet on uneven rocky surfaces.  In a few places the coasteering feels a bit more like bouldering (those are my favorite bits), but mostly it is more like scrambling.  There is also one rather steep descent through bush, but there you should have plenty of stuff to hang on to.  Besides, if the local college kids can do it, should I even be warning you?  

Ultimately teams of two must stay together at all times manage their own safety along the course as if they were undertaking the effort independently from other teams.

Specific information about volunteer locations, aid stations (including food), number of safety boats, etc will be provided closer to the event.  That being said, if your decision to participate or not hinges on these factors rather than just having these factors influence your planning for the event, you're better off on the sidelines for this one. 

Post race: We hope to have a nice post race meal for you as well as a place to shower up, thank your lucky stars, swear blood oaths with your partner never to let you do another fearsociety event, or whatever else you feel like doing after the race.  

Accommodation:  This is still high season in Te Anau, so look for accommodation early or you're likely to be tenting it at one of the campgrounds.  Staying in either Manapouri or Te Anau would suit just fine for the event. 

Didymo: Didymo is present in the Waiau river and lakes Te Anau and Manapouri.  What this means is that if you're travelling to race here, you'll want to prevent carrying this aquatic weed to unspoiled waters elsewhere. Make sure to wash all your swim gear before using it again.  To make this easy for you, we'll have a wash station at place where the showers and such are.  Please use it!

  • What is swimrun anyway?  Google it.
  • Is it really fun? Maybe.  Type II? Type III?  Confused?  Google it.
  • How many aid stations will there be?  Not sure yet, but we'll aim for somewhere between 3-6 over the course of the day.  This isn't a lot for a big race like this.  You'll need to plan accordingly.  The good news is that the water in the lakes and the rivers is, at least according to our president, drinkable.  
  • Do I have to bring a collapsible cup like in Breca? No, you don't. But feel free.  There is a chance we won't provide any water at all, leaving racers to figure it out for themselves.  It shouldn't be hard.  It's Fiordland.  Plenty of water out there. 
  • What is the coasteering like? Awesome.  Well, if you like coasteering at least.  We are toying with the idea of making at least one or two of the coasteering sections 'discipline flexible'--a fancy way of saying that teams can do what they like--either scramble over the technical terrain or hop in and swim--or a little of both.  This way teams that are strong swimmers but not so nimble can channel their inner fish more and those mountain runners among us can scamper about.  Teams with one of each can separate as long as they stay abreast of each other.  Sure, it is a little unconventional, but hey, we're cool with that. 
  • Got any other questions???!