Risks and dangers for racers in Swimrun

As a prelude to the discussion about the risks of Swimrun on the body, it seems essential to present this activity in full expansion in Europe and throughout the world.

There were 40 races in Europe (2-3 countries maximum) but today there are more than 50 events in France alone. France being the second nation after Sweden the cradle of the discipline in terms of race and competitor.

But this is important, the Swimrun is also in his mind outside the races in training sessions or simply sharing a sporting moment with other people. For a while, communities are forming and outings are organized without any goal to go towards the competition but only enjoy the moment. Some even engage in adventure roaming Swimrun by transporting bivouac equipment like The Swimrun Mediterranean raid last June or the expedition to Lake Baikal scheduled in the summer of 2018.

However, it seems to me essential to follow the initial approach of the 4 Originals and commit to the following 4 pillars.

These 4 pillars enrich this sport and give it his universality.

  • Effort: A symbol of sport with or without competition and where everybody can to excel yourself or in group
  • Sharing: Sharing with a partner making the Moment even more intense but also a guarantee of safety in open water or in trail as soon as one is in isolated areas. The union of our forces helps us to move forward.
  • Respect of Human: Respect for competitors and just a friendly moment . In addition, we want a clean Swimrun without doping
  • Respect of Nature: That is essential everybody limits his impact on the fragile environment and learns about the different possibilities of path. Let us to live in the respect and universality of this population.


Now that we understand a little more about the Swimrun, we will clarify the dangers and risks of this sport.

Most incidents during swimrun releases are injuries following a fall or shock. The terrain and the environment maximize the risk of falls on slippery rocks or the technical level in trail running. However, there are many other phenomena to consider.



security and tactics

Biological function of the body ensuring the constancy of the internal temperature of the body (homeothermia) and balancing thermogenesis and thermolysis.

The exercise seems easy but finding this balance (homeothermic) between swimming in cold water and race with combination defines the main difficulty of this sport.

If thermogenesis prevails, we risk hyperthermia and if the thermolysis is superior, the risk is hypothermia. All this is simple but the dangers are real and very quickly present.


Hypothermia is mostly in direct connection with the middle of swimming in cold water.

The use of neoprene suits is essential below 20 ° C.

In Swimrun, we encounter only moderate hypothermia and that vs the duration of the race.

The signs and occurrence of hypothermia in swimrun are increased by:

  • dehydration (ergonomics of the race, number of energy stations, accessible drinking water, salt water ..)
  • tiredness induced by poor diet (calorific balance), also the climatic conditions (wind, humidity according to the geographical areas)
  • thrills

During the first swimming in open water in cold water, the main risk is not the hydrocution but the drowning with ++ adrenaline (inhalation with acute pulmonary oedema and heart arrets possible)


Hyperthermia appears very quickly in Swimrun and the consequences can be lethal :

  • dehydration
  • tactical choice to stop in energy station
  • some doping products increase the thermogenesis
  • The wetsuit is the masterpiece of hyperthermia. In swimrun, they provided with a rear zip but also before to ventilate the body during the effort.
  • It is essential to remove the swimming cap during the race sections

The direct consequences of a malignant hyperthermia are:

  • fast tiredness
  • nausea and diarrhea
  • cramps by the electrolytic losses (sweat ++ according to hygrometry for example)
  • an intense thirst with a “roasted” tongue (dysphagia by collapse of salivary secretions)
  • a psychomotor behavior with an aggressive tendency with an increase in spatio-temporal disorientation
  • heart arrest with global rhabdomyolysis

As we saw earlier, water is an important unknown in Swimrun

It emerges from the tactical choices during a race or training to limit the water losses of our body but to bring the sufficient volumes.

The tactical choices will be:

  • location of the course with water points
  • drinking water in the lake ideal to hydrate during the swimming sections (Lake Annecy, ….)
  • flask in wetsuit, belt
  • salt water, the risk of diarrhea and abdominal pain is increased be careful with microbia-abdominal pathologies as well as ORL


The Swimrun is an exciting activity that requires to know his physical and mental capacities (without overestimating oneself) but also to share with others for pleasure and security.

Conditions are updated, sessions are planned (choice of gear, food, water…….)

“Considering that the numbers of swimrun races are growing and since they are now held in many different kinds of freshwater / brackish / saltwater environments, close to cities, near farmland or in this information is even more relevant. Further down we have listed some dangers from microbes, algae and jellyfish found in temperate climates and what you can do to avoid them. In short, to protect yourself »

/ JC Bastiani swimrun coach & nurse

Åland Swimrun geting close.

On the 23 of september is the Åland Swimrun is held for the second time, and we on World of Swimrun is curius how the planing is going. What to expect and so forth. We found contact with the race directors Ia Colerius and Hubert von Frenckell.

Close to race now! Is the race course well market?

Yes, it´s getting closer. Well marked? At the moment only the supersprint course is marked but gradually we will start to mark the Short course. The Long- course will this year only be partially marked (at the start and in the end). Instead the Long- participants will get a map and find themselves a way from A, where they get up from the water to B, the start of the next swimming segment.The swimming segments for all three routes will be marked both at the decline into water (flag) and at the ascent from the water (buoys / signs)
It was 14 degress celsius on Wednesday – nice and refreshing.Nobody thought it was cold on Tuesday’s training
Seems to be beautiful islands to cross, how did you recce out the longdistance course?
– Among the 6757 islands in the Åland archipelago, we chose some of the finest for our race. We knew from earlier that the surroundings along the route are beautiful and sometimes quite stunning. First we planned a route based on the map, which was then checked by our team. Our ambition with the LONG race was to combine the most beautiful scenery in the Baltics with a very demanding race course, both concerning the running but especially the swim.
It is definitely not a race for beginners. Especially if the weather is rough you have to be a strong swimmer to accomplish the first swimming parts on the northern part of Åland. Since swimrun is such a magnificent sport where you come closer to nature than in almost any other sport, we also want to offer something to everybody. That’s why we have the short with a possibility to race individually and the sprint for those who want to try the sport for the first time.
Finish championship in swimrun it says, tell me more!
Not only Finnish Championships in Swimrun,but the first ever in this sport! To compete for the FM-title and be able to get a FM-medal both teammembers must be a member of a triathlon association belongong to the Finnish Triathlon Association.
When is the latest time to registrer to the race? Is it possible to take a late desicion or do you need a deadline? 
The pre-registration will close on Sunday 17.9.2017 at 23.59 (finnish time). For those who wake up late or haven´t been able to decide before we also provide the opportunity to sign up on site Käringsund on Friday 22.9 from 6- 8pm and on Saturday from 11.30-12.00 am
Is it possible to follow the race online or somewhere on the track?
Yes, it will be possible. All the participants at the LONG and SHort course will have GPS- trackers on them. Info about where you can follow them will be published on the website and the Facebook page. 

Lostwater Swimrun Orienteering – Your own way through nature

Imagine standing before a swimrun race not knowing exactly where and how far you will go. A few seconds to start and you lean forward, preparing to pick up the waterproof map placed on the ground, back up.  

That Swimrun Orienteering origins from Sweden is perhaps not so hard to imagine. Both Swimrun and Orienteering cultures are strong here. The Founder and Race Director Erik Froode is exited about the premiere.

“I really hope I can convey the joy and adventure when going your own way through nature, and it will be interesting to see what will happen when these two sports come together to form one”.

Swimrun Orienteering combines Swimrun and Foot Orienteering and will take you out on a boundless adventure where you as a team decide how to move from one checkpoint to another. One limitation is that you must use the designated water entry/exit points (WEPs). It is a safety precaution and also a way to control the amount of swimming. Besides that you are free to go your own way between checkpoints, both on land and in water. Checkpoint platforms has been designed and built where a standard orienteering checkpoint/marker pole is integrated.

“The platform development and also building the first three was fun. The last eight not as much”, Erik says and laughs.    

The Swimrun Orienteering Premiere is held close to Stockholm, in Nacka nature reserve and Erstavik 23rd of September. The first competition is called Original Loops as the courses consist of loops, all with start/end in race centre Hellasgården. The Endurance course has 4 loops, total distance of 20 km straight. The Action course has 2 loops, 7,3 km straight.     

Swimrun Orienteering is not all about physics. You need to be smart. Determine the best way for your team. Weigh swim distance against run distance and terrain. Erik finishes by adding

“If there would be a way to measure what team had most fun out there, I would use that for a separate prize ceremony

Check it out. It will be a blast for sure!

/The WoS Team

(P.S. Rumor has it that there will be a swimrun party afterwards, so you better check it out! 😀 )



Allgäu SwimRun – An authentic race in the beautiful alpine foothills

The Swedish endurance sport swimrun comes to the Allgäu region for the second time. Here, between the foot of the Alps and idyllic lakes, in the most southern part of Germany, the Allgäu SwimRun 2017 will take place. Gentle trails and the clear waters of the Allgäu lakes makes this the perfect location to cross new boundaries.


The route consists of 7 running sections in total of 23,5km (560 m positive altitude change), as well as 6 swimming sections in total of 3.5km. The estimated water temperature will be between 12 – 14° Celsius. The race is suitable for swimrun beginners, but has enough potential to be challenging for experienced swimrunners, as well.

Last year the Allgäu welcomed 52 teams from 12 nations. We saw a battle at the front of the race and also a battle against hard weather conditions. 45 teams were crossing the finish line: cold but smiling.

See more : www.allgaeu-swimrun.com
contact info@swimrun-allgau.com

Allgäu SwimRun is one of the first swimrun races in Germany.

Start: Oy-Mittelberg, Bavaria, Germany
date: 7. oct 2017
Distances: 23.5km running, 560m elevation | 3.5km swimming
longest run 9km, longest swim 1.1km

Directions: http://www.allgaeu-swimrun.com/de/venue.html

/The WoS Team

The Day After ÖtillÖ – How the body recovers

WoW, what a race.

Tough conditions and challenging elements, just like it should be. ÖtillÖ really presented itself from its best side, the raw beautiful nature!

And still we saw sub-8 hour times!

But how does +75 km of fighting in these harsh conditions affect the body, and what should you think about when trying to recover?

Apart from pizza and beer, there are some quick tips to have in mind, especially if you are a bit older.

Have a read below and remember that there are no short-cuts in the recovery process, which is highly individual.

Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). “How the body recovers from an ultramarathon.” Science daily, 18         February 2016. 

Ultramarathon runners can expect an approximate five-to-seven-day subjective recovery post race, according to research presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Sacramento, Calif. The study also looked at factors that affect physical recovery and a runner’s ability to return to full running speed after participation in an ultramarathon.


(Full study can be found here http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2016.1183808 )

/The WoS Team