Whats the status on swimrun on the other side of the Atlantic?

Check out this update from Sean Durkin – Swimrun California!

/The WoS Team

In 2016, there will be five swimrun races held in the USA according to World of Swim Run; this is quite remarkable considering only a few American athletes competed in or heard of swimrun when I started training in 2014. In 2016 there will be three races in San Diego, CA, one race near Portland, Maine and one in Randolph, New Jersey. Worldwide, there will be over 200 races this in 2016.

In 2014, my good friend and rowing teammate Andy Hewitt found out about the ÖTILLÖ race from a few of his “crazy” friends. Andy started training on his own but soon found he needed a partner, I’d just moved back to San Diego and we started right away.

At first, I was way behind in the swimming and running, after living in Colorado for a winter, I was a bit out of shape. Soon Andy was talking about entering the Utö race in Sweden; it’s a qualifier for ÖTILLÖ. We entered and were accepted; we trained five days a week that winter and spring. People would see us training and ask us what we were doing, they had never seen anyone swim with running shoes on. We explained that we were training like dogs; we get in and out of the water without any hesitation and were having a great time. One of our rules was that we had to greet everyone we saw during training sessions, it really made things fun.


California Swim Run training session 2015 in San Diego

By the time we competed in ÖTILLÖ in September 2015, people were starting to recognize us and were becoming more familiar with California Swim Run. We hosted a small race at the end of September 2015 and the competitors enjoyed the format and teamwork aspect of the sport. Later that fall, the Casco Bay, ME race was announced and we knew that there was some momentum building with the sport in the USA.

Finish Group No Logo.jpg

September 20th, 2015 California Swim Run Race

In 2016 California Swim Run hosted the second swimrun race; we had three times as many competitors as our first race, everyone from Navy Seals, triathletes, personal trainers and one team who just met that morning at the race course. Now when we are training or promoting swimrun, some people recognize the sport; they’ve heard of ÖTILLÖ and are interested in learning more about getting involved in swimrun.


March 6th 2016 California Swim Run Mission Bay Sprint

Just last week, I was at a picnic and a nice lady named Erin started talking to me about swimrun, she asked me if I’d heard of California Swim Run. It turns out that Erin and her partner will be joining us in Casco Bay, Maine in August. Now I know that swimrun is catching on in the USA, I can’t wait to hear what people will say in 2017. Check out our January 22nd, 2017 22k race and our championship 42k race on April 23rd, 2017

Sean Durkin

California Swim Run Event Coordinator