About Love SwimRun

 

Where We Started

The idea to organise our first swimrun event was born in 2015 when I (Chloe) entered my first swimrun which was in Loch Lomand in Scotland. It was the first year that any swimrun events had taken place in the UK and swimrun as a sport was in it’s infancy. Hardly anyone had even heard of swimrun, there were no swimrun wetsuits available in the UK and it was all about customising old kit and making your own elasticated pull buoys! 

The event in Loch Lomand was was 31km with 8km of swimming across the loch and over it’s Islands. It was a team only event and I really struggled to find someone willing to take on the challenge with me. Eventually I found an old colleague who I knew did triathlons and persuaded him to join me! Unfortunately we lived too far away to train together, only really meeting up on the day before the event! I was never in it to win it, I just love taking on a challenge and having fun, but we were just not compatible in our speed and fitness and ended up at t he back of the pack and I was getting very cold having had to swim very slowly to stay together. The rules of swimrun state you always have to stay together with your team mate, usually less than 10m apart at any time. We did manage to meet the cut off time for the full route but then at about the half way point my partner decided to throw in the towel and it was game over. I was not allowed to carry on alone so the race was over for me too.  

It was frustrating and disappointing after all the time I had spent training, and the money spent entering and travelling to take part, but it was just one of those things and I still enjoyed the event. I had a brilliant few days swimming and hiking in Scotland anyway!  On the way back to Wales I reflected on what had happened and on what a great sport swimrun is. I loved the freedom and sense of adventure it gave me and the way swimrun takes you on a seamless journey through both beautiful natural landscapes and aquatic environments. It blends two of my favourite things to do, running and swimming, into one great, fun workout! It seemed such a shame to me that the few events that where taking place were so extreme in terms of distance and that you had to be a team of two to take part. Whilst I love the team element of swimrun and that unique element to it, it does seem to restrict a lot of people from taking part…

By the time we had driven home, I’d decided I was going to organise my own swimrun in North Wales, that it would be a shorter distance and would allow solo entries as well as teams. I wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to try out swimrun, so it was going to be a fun and accessible event that would be inclusive! 

So that is what we did! Organising Inclusive, achievable, fun, friendly, welcoming events is now at the heart of everything that we do.

5 Years On… 

Love SwimRun launched in 2016 with our inaugural event Love SwimRun Llanberis, the first swimrun event in Wales! We now have three great SwimRun events:  Love SwimRun Llanberis a hilly 16km course which takes place in June in Llyn Padarn, Padarn Country Park. There is also a sprint course (6km) in which juniors can also take part! Love SwimRun Holy Island is a spectacular 21km linear course on the Anglesey coast with a 10km sprint option available! New for 2021, we have Love SwimRun Dawn to Dusk, a 12 hour endurance Swimrun! Complete as many laps of our tough 6km Swimrun course as you can between dawn and dusk! You’ll need to sign up fast for these fun SwimRuns as we only have limited spaces! All of our Swimrun events allow both team and solo entries and at Dawn to Dusk you can also enter as a relay team of 4! 

2017 saw the launch our new ‘Swim Train’ series, with The Big Welsh Swim! A multi distance open water swim in Llanberis with a choice to swim the length of the lake, either once, twice or three times! We have a mid length option too, plus spaces for juniors and a non-wetsuit option! We also now have The Big Bala Swim with a 1.5km, 4.5km and 9km options. In February 2020 we staged the first The Welsh Winter Swim: A fun but freezing cold water challenge! The Welsh Winter Swim includes short individual races of 50m, 100m, 250m and a tough 500m endurance challenge. Wetsuit and non-wetsuit places are available. Go on, dive in! 

In 2019 we began offering smaller, more personal guided events including The Secret SwimWalk and The Secret Swimrun Challenge – adventurous days out exploring the tracks, footpaths and lakes in Northern Snowdonia. We love running these events and having the time to get to know some of our participants better. Many of them come back to do more than one day with us! We also now also offer spectacular guided swims down the Menai Strait! This is a rare opportunity to swoosh for 6.5km or 4km down the narrow and dangerous channel of sea that separates the Island of Anglesey from mainland North Wales! We guide you safely through the bubbling ‘Swellies’ and under the two historic bridges!

Chloe is now qualified as a STA Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coach and we run fun Introducion Courses and Coaching for open water swimming and swimrun. 

Who we are

Chloë Rafferty

Chloë Rafferty

ROLE: Director & pretty much everything else!

I love swimming outdoors, whether it is lengths of the lake or just a dip in a waterfall, I just want to be in water! I’m so fortunate to live here in North Wales where over the last 10 years I have explored most of the lakes, rivers, waterfalls and beaches, finding some incredible places to swim! I’ve taken part in many open water swimming and swimrun events in the UK and abroad including two 10km swims and winter swimming events. As well as managing Love SwimRun and organising all the events we run each year, I’m now qualified as an open water swimming coach and I’m really enjoying helping other people to try out wild swimming for the first time and sharing my experience of swimming and swimrun to coach people and help them achieve their goals. I also love mountain biking, road cycling, running, weight lifting, my dogs, gardening and being creative! 

Jonny Collins

Jonny Collins

ROLE: Risk management, event co-ordinator and all rounder!

I really enjoy working with Chloe organising the events for Love SwimRun. My role is a bit more behind the scenes; I do all the risk management stuff, paperwork for permissions with landowners, water safety cover, first aid, finances and the setting up/packing up at the events. The job I’m best know for is delivering the competitor briefings, which I really enjoy making entertaining! I also run my own business in first aid training (1FirstAid1). I’m also a tutor for British Cycling delivering mountain biking leadership courses. In my free time I love swimming outdoors, mountain biking, road cycling, a bit of swimrun although I’m not that great at running and pretty I’m average at swimming too! I’m also into motorcycles, my favourite is my lovely 22 year old BMW adventure bike.

 

Our Ace Marshals

Our Ace Marshals

ROLE: Looking after you & generally being brilliant!

At every big event we run we need a team of land and water safety marshals. Without these patient and dedicated teams we would be unable to provide the safety that is required for our race participants. Our marshals are invaluable members of our team on the day of each event and we are incredibly grateful for their time, help and support! If you would like to work with us you can find out more about the paid work we offer here.

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