One of the primary premises behind the sport of swimrun is connecting the athletes with nature. If you ask Michael Lemmel, race director of OtillO, he’ll be quick to tell you that it’s about the athletes moving through nature and becoming one with it. I’d have to agree with him.
So, when it comes to having a swimrun race, most folks wouldn’t think of having one right in the middle of a large city like Richmond and if I hadn’t raced XTERRAs in Richmond before, I would probably have thought the same thing. When I stumbled across that there would be the SwimRunVA race held on some of the same trails of the XTERRA, it took me all of about 2 seconds to make a decision. I had to do this race.
I reached out to Jim Fisher, local Richmond athlete and an XTERRA friend of mine to see if he was interested in teaming up for the race. Being an avid racer and lover of adventure, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. As the race approached, I received bad news that Jim tore some of those important tendons around his knee and would need surgery. Of course, this knocked him out of the race, for sure. After some further searching and pleading with folks on social media for someone as crazy as us, Keith Schumann, another XTERRA athlete stepped up. With zero time training together we found ourselves at the start line before you knew it.
The race course looks a little something like this:
I’ll spare you the turn-by-turn details, but it was 6 separate swims and 7 runs totaling 3.37 miles of swimming and 15 miles of running. We started the race at Continue reading