‘SwimRunVA’ Makes a Splash in the James on October 21st

October 10, 2017 · 2 minute read

On October 21st, endurance athletes from all over the U.S. will have touched down in Richmond to compete in the second annual Swim-Run-VA. This race was inspired by the Otillo style Swimrun, where a team alternates between running and swimming along a pre-marked course in nature. Teams of two have to stay within 10 meters of their partner and swim in their shoes and run in their wetsuits with no transitions between disciplines.

A racer runs Pipeline at last year’s Swim-Run-Va race.

Last year Swimrun was introduced to RVA, and athletes accepted the challenge to compete in the inaugural Swim-Run-VA race, which spans 18 miles through the heart of RVA, 13 miles of running and 5 miles of swimming. It was the first ever swimrun event in Virginia and the second in the entire U.S.

Richmond has a rising reputation as an active community, featuring an extraordinary natural landscape and man-made creations that promote outdoor recreation. The scenic running trails that meet the James River’s pools and rapids are ideal for a challenging swimrun race.

The silhouette of Richmond’s James River Park System provides a platform for a swimrun race that stands alone. The courses urban environment gives racers the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery that can inspire the physical aspect of the competition. Richmond houses some amazing outdoor adventures.

SwimRunVA starts with serene views of the sunrise over the James River mixed with beautiful trails starting at Huguenot Flatwater Park. After this long swim to the Z Dam, it’s time for a quick but technical swim around some rapids. The course then takes you on a run at Pony Pastor and into the quick moving part of the river for a fast 1000-meter swim.

Moving into more urban features of the event, racers will run through quiet neighborhoods and over Richmond’s downtown expressway into a short sprint swim under the Boulevard Bridge. Next is a 2.87-mile run from along the Northbank Trail past Texas Beach to Belle Isle that is arguably the most fun, yet challenging, leg of the race. After a quick swim and a vivid glimpse at the breathtaking city skyline, views from Richmond’s Floodwall, the final swim finishes at Chapel Island and Great Shiplock Park.

The home stretch is a two-mile run that includes the Richmond terminus of the Capital Trail, Shockoe Bottom, and the Canal Walk across the Pipeline Trail into Brown’s Island. A final sprint for the finish to the river bank across from the American Civil War Museum completes the amazing journey.

Click here to learn more about this unique Richmond event!