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Swim run.jpg
The transition from swimming to running
Highest governing body World Swimrun Federation - Switzerland
Nicknames WSRF
First played Twice September 2006 in Sweden - Solo August 2014 in Italy
Mixed gender Twice (Both male, women's, mixed teams), Solo (one man or woman)
Type Endurance sport, open water. Running.
Equipment Pull Buoy, Poll Paddle, Shoes, Wetsuit.
Country or region Originated in Sweden, but races have been starting from 2014 in others European Countries (Italy, Switzerland and Norway), from 2015/2016 rest of Europe, Australia America and Asia
Olympic No
Paralympic No

A Swimrun is a multiple-stage competition which involves participants running and swimming over a cross-country race course or loop-course that involves at least 2 transitions between the swim and run stages of the race.


In 2002 Anders Malm, the owner of Utö Värdshus (the finish line hotel of ÖtillÖ), his friend Janne Lindberg and some of his staff (the Andersson brothers) had a late night in the bar. They challenged each other – “Last team of two to Sandhamn pays for hotel, dinner and drinks”. Two teams of two started the next morning with the only rule being that they had to pass the three different restaurants on the islands between the start and the finish. The last team at the restaurant had to drink and pay what the team ahead of them had ordered for them. It took them more than 24 hours and they were too tired to party on arrival. They tried again the year after with the same result. They're referred to as Original 4.[1]

In 2006 Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott were asked if they could make a commercial race out of their crazy challenge. The first couple of years only 11 teams started and only two managed to finish within the time limits. Then something happened and the teams learned that the only way to race is by not stopping, with constant movement.

Unlike the original course set by the creators, Utö became the finish line while Sandhamn became the start. The race became known as ÖtillÖ (Island to island), Today the race is internationally recognized as the Swimrun World Championship[1] and has been ranked by CNN as one of the toughest races in the World.[2] It was also later mentioned by one article as one of the toughest 1-day endurance races in the world,[3] and is currently the standard when it comes to rules and style of racing.

The style of racing picked up the name "Swimrun", given in 2011 by Erika Rosenbaum, one of the ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championship podium finishers.[1]

The first swimrun race done in warm water was Aquaticrunner XTriM ITALY and it started in 2014 on August 3. It is an individual swimrun race and not a standard dual-team race such as in ÖtillÖ. The biggest different between Aquaticrunner and the Nordic races are two: the Individual/Solo race (no team) and that swimming tools are not permitted (no fins, snorkel, etc.) with the exception that a pull buoy is allowed (Paddle starting from 2017). The Other races done outside of Sweden in 2014 was: Rockman Swimrun and XTERRA Swimrun both in Norway, Engandina in Switzerland and Amphibianman in Italy (this was the first outside of Sweden done on May 10, 2014). Aquaticrunner 2014 was also the first Individual/Solo Swimrun done in the world and it was realized by Matteo Benedetti.

In 2015, the world's first Ultraswimrun, the Stockholm Archipelago Ultra Challenge (SAUC) took place, and is now considered the toughest available swimrun race in the world, stretching over some 250 km. SAUC is also the official Ultraswimrun open challenge.

Starting from 2015, around the world, the Swimrun has become a new type of competition that has gathered considerable support from its growing sport and triathlon community and several annual races have been started in the world, but foremost across Sweden. In fact in 2015 the ''World Swimrun Federation'' was founded in Switzerland. The objective of WSRF is to discipline, organize, promote, advance and spread out the sport of Swimrun throughout the wideworld.

The international focus has been growing in the last years, and in 2016 (2016-05-10) there are more than 180 known races in the world, in 19 countries and on 4 continents.[4] In 2016 the swimrun scene has seen the birth of several swimrun leagues, such as the ÖtillÖ world series, The Copenhagen Swimrun Series, the Breca Swimrun Series,[4] the Trispot City Challenge and the Italia SwimRun Series, however where all but one of the 15 races in and around the Italian peninsula are individual races.[5]

In 2016 SwimRun Australia became the first SwimRun not only in Australia but also the southern hemisphere, bathing the way for the growth of SwimRun in the Asia-Pacific region.

Most swimrun races are completed in teams of two, but starting from 2016, there are many individual/solo swimrun in the world, starting from Italy (Italian Swimrun series 12 race), Love Swimrun, in Russia Swimrun 2015, in XTERRA Quebec Swimrun 2017, Canarie Swimrun 2018 and Uruguay Swimrun 2018.

Swimrun characteristics[edit]

What defines a swimrun is that its always carried out outdoors and in water where the goal is to go from a starting point to a finish point through a course with at least 2 swim and run sections. All the equipment that a participant starts with has to be carried all the way to the finish line. Even though swimrun urges participants to use flotation equipment, equipment larger than 100×60 cm is not allowed.[6]

Because of safety measures a swimrun competition is usually carried out by teams but there are several races where you can race individually.[4] There are three classes to compete in; either a men`s class, women`s class or a mixed gender class.

Given that swimrun is a cross-country race, there are no standards yet in terms of how far the total run and swim should be, or how many transitions there should be in a swimrun competition, like there is in sports related to swimrun such as aquathlon, biathle or triathlon.

Swimrun Distances[edit]

The race levels vary in the world. There are no set race limits or race standards apart from having to compete in twos and as to what is constituted as a swimrun race. Currently the majority of races (2016) are spread among the following levels below (1st table).

The world standard swimrun distances are divided into 6 types, in accordance with the majority of available races including ÖtillÖ.

Standard swimrun distances
Level Race distance
Super Sprint <=10 km
Sprint >10.1 & <=20 km
Regular > 20.1 & <=40 km
Long >40.1 & <=75 km
Ultra +75 km
Multiday >24 hours

In Italy foremost, and few other European countries, a different distance scheme is used.

Individual swimrun distances
Level From To Race distance
Short 1/4/4 2/7/n <=5k
Basic 2/8/4 3/11/n > 5.1 & <=10k
Half 4/17/8 7/29/n > 10.1 & <=21k
Full 8/34/14 12/35/n > 21.1 & <=42k
Long 8/34/14 12/35/n > 42.1 & <=75k
Ultra 10/65/20 No limits >=75.1k

The races[edit]

Year Races Nations Finisher Events
2016 103 18 *
Australia SwimRun Australia
 Sweden Borensberg Swimrun, Sjö till Sjö, Utö (ôtillö qualifier), Anglaloppet, Stockholm swimrun, Stockholm Archipelago Ultra Swimrun, Borĺs Swimrun, 50´turen 2 Sjöer, Infinity Swimrun 3h, Horfors Swimrun, Kustjageren, Vansbro, Hřga Kusten (ötillö-qualifier), Ĺrnes Swimrun, Kalmar Swimrun, Ĺstol Aquathlon, 2XU Island Challenge, Tylösand Aquathlon, Amfibiemannen, Wet rock race, Farleden, Farleden inomskärs, LED swimrun, Nordslingan Swimrun, Sjö till Sjö, Ôloppet Swimrun, Skärgĺrdsutmaningen Swimrun, Karlstad Swimrun, Stockholm Archipelago Ultraswimrun Challenge, Karlskrona Swimrun, Marstrand Swimrun, Stora Stöten Swimrun, Idre Swimrun, Anglaloppet Swimrun, Moose2Goose Swimrun, 10 Island Race, Sigge tuna Swimrun, ÖtillÖ® Swimrun World Championship, Arlanda Swimrun, Tjolöholm Swimrun, Koster Swimrun, Lilla Astol Swimrun, Langholmen Swimrun, Sollentuna Swimrun, Snapphanen, GBG Swimrun, Hellas frostbite
 Italy Amphibianman® (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Conero Swimrun (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Elba Swimrun (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Idro Swimrun (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Swimrun Venice (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Umbria Swimrun (Aquaticrunner qualifier), Bologna Swimrun (Aquaticrunner qualifier), 2° Anfibia SwimRun, 3° Aquaticrunner® ITALY XTriM Border Lagoon
  Switzerland Engadin (ötillö-qualifier)
 Norway Swimrun Norway - To the worlds end, Oslofjorden Sprint Swimrun, Rockman
 Germany Paddle to the Medal, Rheinsberg, Allgaeu Swimrun, 1000 Lakes Swimrun (ötillö qualifier)
 England Breca Buttermere, Isle of Scilly (ötillö-qualifier), Love SwimRun Llanberis, The Broards Swimrun, Snowdonia Lyn I Lyn
 Scotland Loch Lomond Inch by Inch Swimrun, Hell´s Hop, Loch gu loch
 Ireland Breca Arranmore
 Denmark XTERRA Swimrun Denmark, Urban Swimrun (swimrun cup Denmark), Beach Swimrun (swimrun cup Denmark), Bornholm Swimrun, Lake Swimrun (swimrun cup Denmark), DGI Swimrun Rřdekro
 Belgium Amphimann, Amphiman De Schorre
 Finland Midnightsun Swimrun, Porkkala Swimrun, Solvalla Swimrun (ötillö-qualifier)
 Russia Lake-to-Lake
 France Saint quentin Swimrun, Emeraude Swimrun
 United States Casco Bay Islands Swimrun,[7] Swimrun North Carolina,[8] Swimrun Virginia,[9] Mission Bay Swimrun
 Spain Costa Brava Swimrun
 Canada Mushoka´s Epic Swimrun
 Armenia Sevan Lake Swimrun
 Ireland Breca Árainn Mhóre Swimrun, Galway Bay Swimrun
South Africa Torpedo SwimRun Cape Town
* Still underway races.
2015 55 12 (counting England and Scotland as different countries, otherwise

11 nations)


Ö till Ö,[10] 4th Lake Swimrun*,[11] 10 Island Swimrun,[12] Amfibiemannen ,[13] Ångaloppet ,[14] Ångaloppet Sprint, Stockholm Archipelago UltraSwimrun Challenge [15] Arlanda Aquathlon,[16] Årnäs Swimrun,[17] Borås Swimrun ,[18] Borås Swimrun Sprint, Borensberg Swimrun,[19] Farleden,[20] Farleden inomskärs,[21] Hofors Swimrun ,[22] Höga Kusten Swimrun,[23] Idre Swimrun,[24] Karlstad Swimrun,[25] Koster Swimrun,[26] Kustjagaren,[27] Långholmen Swimrun,[28] Loftahammar Endurance Day,[29] Lyckans Swimrun,[30] Marstrand Open Water,[31] Marstrand Open Water Sprint, Nordslingan,[32] Öloppet,[33] Öloppet Sprint, Sigge Tuna Swimrun,[34] Sjö till Sjö Växjö,[35] Sjö till Sjö Sala,[36] Skärgårdsutmaningen,[37] Skärgårdsutmaningen Sprint, Stockholm Swimrun,[38] Snapphanen Swimrun,[39] Solvalla Swimrun*,[40] Stora Stöten Swimrun,[41] Utö Swimrun,[42] Vansbro Swimrun,[43] WetRockRace[44]


2° Amphibianman® Swimrun[45] 2° Aquaticrunner® XTriM® Swimrun,[46] 1° Tnatura Anfibia Swimrun[47]


Engadin Swimrun[48]


Swimrun Norway - To the worlds end, Oslofjorden Sprint Swimrun, Rockman


Paddle to the Meda


Breca Swimrun[49]


Loch Lomond Swimrun,[50] Loch Gu Loch Swimrun[51]


XTERRA Swimrun Denmark[52]


Amphiman,[53] Amphiman Sprint


Porkkala Swimrun[54]


Lake-to-Lake Russia[55]


Émeraude Swimrun,[56] Swimrun Saint-Quentin,[57] Troll Enez Morbihan [58]

2014 22 4 3574

Ö till Ö, 10 Island Swimrun, Amfibiemannen, Ångaloppet, Ångaloppet Sprint, Arlanda Aquathlon, Borås Swimrun, Farleden, Farleden inomskärs, Karlstad Swimrun, Kustjagaren Karlskrona, Loftahammar Endurance Day, Öloppet, Öloppet Sprint, Utö Swimrun, Skärgårdsutmaningen, Skärgårdsutmaningen Sprint, Solvalla Swimrun, Stockholm Swimrun


1° Amphibianman® Swimrun[59] 1° Aquaticrunner® XTriM® Swimrun,[60]


Engadin Swimrun


XTERRA Swimrun,[61] Rockman Swimrun[62]

2013 10 1 1948

Ö till Ö, Arlanda Aquathlon, Amfibiemannen, Ångaloppet, Ångaloppet Sprint, Kustjagaren Karlskrona, Öloppet, Öloppet Sprint, Utö Swimrun, WetRockRace

2012 5 1 900

Ö till Ö, Amfibiemannen, Ångaloppet, Öloppet, WetRockRace

2011 3 1 196

Ö till Ö, Ångaloppet, WetRockRace

2010 1 1 16

Ö till Ö

2009 1 1 16

Ö till Ö

2008 1 1 6

Ö till Ö

2007 1 1 4

Ö till Ö

2006 1 1 4

Ö till Ö


  1. ^ a b c "Story of Ötillö". Ötillö. Retrieved Dec 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Pushed to the limit: The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges". CNN. Retrieved Dec 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ Tobias Mews (February 20, 2014). "The 8 toughest races in the world". The Daily telegraph. Retrieved July 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "World Race Overview". World of Swimrun. World of Swimrun. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  5. ^ Nic. "Italian SwimRun series!". Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Om Swimrun (swedish)". SWIMRUN SPRINT CUP I HELLAS. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ Casco Bay Islands Swimrun Homepage[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ SwimRunNC Homepage
  9. ^ SwimRunVA Homepage
  10. ^ Ö till Ö Homepage
  11. ^ 4th Lake Swimrun Homepage
  12. ^ 10 Island Swimrun Homepage
  13. ^ Amfibiemannen Homepage
  14. ^ Ångaloppet Homepage
  15. ^ "Stockholm Archipelago Ultra Swimrun (SAUC)". Ultraswimrun. Retrieved 2016-02-20. 
  16. ^ Arland Aquathlon Homepage
  17. ^ Årnäs Swimrun Homepage
  18. ^ Borås Swimrun Homepage
  19. ^ Borensberg Swimrun Homepage
  20. ^ Farleden Homepage
  21. ^ Farleden inomskärs Homepage
  22. ^ Hofors Swimrun Homepage
  23. ^ Höga Kusten Swimrun Homepage
  24. ^ Idre Swimrun Homepage
  25. ^ Karlstad Swimrun Homepage
  26. ^ Koster Swimrun Homepage
  27. ^ Kustjagaren Homepage
  28. ^ Långholmen Swimrun Homepage
  29. ^ Loftahammar Endurance Day Homepage
  30. ^ Lyckans Swimrun Infoblatt
  31. ^ Marstrand Open Water Homepage
  32. ^ Nordslingan Homepage
  33. ^ Öloppet Homepage
  34. ^ Sigge Tuna Swimrun Homepage
  35. ^ Sjö till Sjö Växjö Homepage Archived 2015-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ Sjö till Sjö SalaHomepage Archived 2015-09-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ Skärgårdsutmaningen Homepage
  38. ^ Stockholm Swimrun Homepage
  39. ^ Snapphanen Swimrun Homepage
  40. ^ Solvalla Swimrun Homepage
  41. ^ Stora Stöten Swimrun Homepage
  42. ^ Utö Swimrun Homepage
  43. ^ Vansbro Swimrun Homepage
  44. ^ WetRockRace Homepage
  45. ^ 2° Amphibianman Swimrun Homepage
  46. ^ 2° Aquaticrunner XTriM Swimrun Homepage
  47. ^ 1° Tnatura Anfibia Swimrun Homepage
  48. ^ Engadin Swimrun Homepage
  49. ^ Breca Swimrun Homepage
  50. ^ Loch Lomond Swimrun Homepage
  51. ^ Loch Gu Loch Swimrun Homepage
  52. ^ XTERRA Swimrun Denmark Homepage Archived 2015-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^ Amphiman Homepage
  54. ^ Porkkala Swimrun Homepage
  55. ^ Lake-to-Lake Russia Homepage
  56. ^ Émeraude Swimrun Homepage
  57. ^ Swimrun Saint-Quentin Homepage
  58. ^ Troll Enez Morbihan Homepage Archived 2015-10-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  59. ^ 1° Amphibianman Swimrun Homepage
  60. ^ 1° Aquaticrunner XTriM Swimrun Homepage
  61. ^ XTERRA Swimrun Homepage
  62. ^ Rockman Swimrun Homepage