Posted on November 14, 2016 by Marcus Barton
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this..” was the only quote that came to mind going into the SwimRun NC race. Despite my best efforts to be prepared, with previewing the course, training pretty consistent and everything else I could do, it only took a sprinkling of real life to get in the way and attempt to derail things. Life can be funny that way, throwing you curve balls and all. Heck, sometimes it can be downright cruel.
Right after the SwimRun VA race in Richmond, VA, I headed home to be with Mom as she went into surgery. I won’t go into too much detail, but I HAD to be there, because it’s family. You know how that goes. Even though sleeping in a hospital chair off and on over the next 10 days (not to mention all the driving) and the stress of worry put up a huge brick wall approaching the final days before the race, I don’t regret it for a millisecond. Quality time was spent with all of my family, and frankly, sometimes that has to take a precedence over everything else.
So, as we all gathered at the Green Heron Ale House for the race briefing, the butterflies began to start. There was nothing I could do now but give it my best shot.
SwimRunNC, if you read their website, was the brainchild of Jan Kriska and Jeff Beckelhimer. Although this is true, Herbert Krabel had his paws in on it, too. With those three minds together
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 25, 2016 by Marcus Barton
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
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing | Tagged: First Endurance, GU Energy, OtillO, Racing, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team, weswimrun | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 25, 2015 by Marcus Barton
For those of you that haven’t been following the blog or my Facebook page, we set out to do ÖTILLÖ which is touted to be one of the toughest races on the planet. It’s a swimrun race that consists of traversing 26 islands in Sweden, swimming a total of 6 miles in the Archipelago and running 42 miles across the islands. To give you a quick synopsis, check out this map (all lengths are in meters):
Dan prepared me the best he could, and frankly, I felt I had made huge strides in my fitness. Cheryl Reinke also worked hard and helped me to make big improvements to my swim. By the time we hit Sweden, they had done as much as they could. I’m thankful to both of them for really taking the time to invest in someone who can’t possibly repay them.
We took our better halves and boarded the flight for Stockholm. To say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. It was nervousness, excitement and anxiousness all balled up in one tiny package. Once we got to Stockholm, we parted Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | Comments Off on Cold Water and Wetsuit Running – OtillO Swimrun World Championships
Posted on August 10, 2015 by Marcus Barton
We were about half of a mile into a 1.2 mile swim across the fjord in 56 degree water when my legs began to shake and shiver. This was swim number seven of the day with two more after it. We were just a little under 7 hours into the race and I was beginning to tire a bit. I had lost Dan’s draft so I resorted to sighting since I couldn’t see his shoes or bubble trail anymore. As I looked up, through the rain, the power station we were swimming to didn’t look any closer. “Damnit. we’re not even halfway there yet and I’m shivering,” I thought. Just about that time, Dan stops, turns around, looks at me and says…
Photo credit: Matti Rapila Andersson
Wait a second. I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, I know it’s been three weeks since this race. I must apologize at my slack-assedness. However, it’s been, work, train, eat, spend time with the family and somewhere in there squeeze in some time to sleep. I know, I know. Waaaah. You have no place for whiners.
Second, in order to even begin to talk about the “impossible” race, as dubbed by the locals that live along the fjord we raced, I have to give you the backstory of how I got pulled into this race to give you some context. Here comes a flashback… Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun, Travel | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | 7 Comments »