Love SwimRun Llanberis 2017 – Race report

Our second SwimRun event in Wales!

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Love SwimRun Llanberis 2017 report montage

 

Our second year of Love SwimRun saw twice the number of participants as our inaugural event in 2016! It was so nice to see lots of familiar faces – we must have done something right last year to have so many of you coming back to do it again! That said we learnt a lot from our experience last year and had made huge efforts to make this year as good as we could, including investing in lots of new branded kit to make the event even more memorable for you, most significant, a towering race arch for you to run under and some big gazebos for you to hide under if it had rained (as it did last year!).

Thankfully the rain held off this year and although it was pretty cloudy, there was very little wind so this provided perfect weather conditions for swimrun! Not too hot running in the wetsuit and nice calm water for the swims!

Although our course is technically a sprint distance at 16km, it is still a challenging route with 375m of ascent and some very technical running sections. The 4 swim sections all take place in Llyn Padarn and vary between 480m and 1.1km. The course was again set in the beautiful Llyn Padarn Country Park, next to the village of Llanberis with Mt Snowdon and the slate quarries towering above, although we did make some modifications to the course this year. Last year we felt that the last swim was just too long and cold for a lot of people so we decided to switch things about and added in a new running section with an extra hill! The feed back we had from those of you that did it last year was that this was a great improvement, so we’ll be doing the same again next year with the addition of extra start waves and a widened exit on the first swim to help reduce some congestion that was experienced there.

200 people were registered for the race. On the day a total 48 teams and 76 solos started with a happy mix of almost 50/50 men and women! 172 people crossed the start line and only one did not finish after suffering with bad cramps and being pulled from the water during the last swim. One of our main aims has always been to make this race accessible to anyone that wants to have a go at swimrun which is why we offer solo places as well as team entries. There was a real mix of abilities and experience this year from complete novices to experienced Iron Men. We were privileged to welcome back visually impaired triathlete, Nicolas Dewalque from Belgium and 8 deaf competitors of which, Michael Loiacono smashed in with 2nd Male Solo and Marc Baker & Larisa Green splashed over the finish line with 3rd Mixed Team!

There were some truly heroic finishers amongst the 171 finishers: one lady took a bad tumble during the technical wooded section on the last run and nearly did not carry with a very painful arm, but dug deep and managed to complete the final swim! (She has since had it x-rayed and thankfully it was not broken!). There were a number of very bad cases of cramp (eat lots of potassium rich bananas before and during your swimruns folks – that’s why they are on the feed stations! And drink plenty and warm up/stretch well!) and a few cuts and bruises from the sharp slate waste (we did warn you!), even a story of one chap suffering terrible sickness during the last swim but refusing to get out until he’d finished the race! Let’s hope you weren’t behind him!

We wanted the event to have a fun, friendly and laid back feel and it was just as important this year for me to be at registration to introduce myself, as well as be there at the finish line to award medals and dish out hugs and congratulations to as many people as possible. At our race briefing we tried to share our ethos on taking care of the environment as well as looking out for one another. We know that you took this on board as lots of you went home having made new friends after supporting each other out on the course and during the day. Hopefully some of you will go on to partner up for other SwimRun challenges in the future.

The sun showed up at the finish line and helped to warm everyone up. Wild Trail supplied us with their delicious, natural bars for all of our finishers which we handed over along with a blingy Love SwimRun Llanberis 2017 medal! We had great prizes of £50 Zone3 vouchers for 1st place in each category and special engraved glasses for 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishers. Zone3 had also given us some great spot prizes that we awarded randomly by bib number draw so everyone had a chance of going home with a Zone3 towel, goggles, water bottle, beanie hat, racebelt or paddles.

Solo competitor Andrew fisher crossed the finish line first, completing the course in an gobsmacking 2:04:11. None of the marshals saw him, he was just a blur. The first female over the line, and not far behind Andrew taking overall second, was Rebecca Mingo at 2:10:48, an outstanding performance! The last team recorded a time of 05:08:12 which shows you just how mixed the field was! Those that took the longest times will have tried the hardest and extra big well done and congratulations is due to them. A full set of results are below. Well done everyone!

Results

Solo Men


1. Andrew Fisher  02:04:11.8
2. Michael Loiacono  02:25:34
3. John Armstrong  02:27:23

Solo Female


1. Rebecca Mingo  02:10:48
2. Vikki Thompson  02:15:49
3. Samantha Howard  02:19:36.7

Team Male


1. Ben Smith, Brian Corcoran: Soggy bottoms  02:12:22.0
2. John Yelland, John Wisner: The Two Johnnies (Mad Hatter Sports Events)  02:14:14.4
3. Martin Cole, Paul Jones: CoJo  02:21:38.6

Team Female


1. Sarah Percival, Christine Meek: The Rubber Dollies  02:43:07
2. Polly Ogorman, Anna Simpson: PollyAnna  02:53:43
3. Charlotte Taylor, Claire Townsend: Chilly Turtles  03:16:36

Team Mixed


1. Adam Gibson, Michela Vincent: Green Machines  02:24:05.9
2. Michele Chung, Mike Field: Streatham Stragglers  02:25:14.6
3. Marc Baker, Larisa Green: Wessex Whispers  02:39:28.0

A full set of results can be seen HERE.

This was only our second time organising an event and 12 more months of planning and hard work came together and with the help of 35 amazing friends, volunteers and paid marshals who all gave us their time to make the day happen (Thank you all so much!) we think we did great… even better than last year! Please see the great feed back we received below this report, and have a read of these great race reports from Stephen Harley of Greenlight PT and Bob Hudson whos hilarious tale of making his customised pull buoy had me in stitches!

What does the future hold for Love SwimRun?
We’ll be holding Love SwimRun Llanberis again in June 2018, keeping a maximum of 200 entrants to enable us to retain that laid back and family feel we love. We will build on all we have learnt this year to make next years event even better again! We will continue to offer solo and team entries in order to make the sport of SwimRun more accessible to everyone. We have 3 new events coming up this year including Love SwimRun Holy Island, a new 18km SwimRun event on the coast of Anglesey, The Big Welsh Swim and The Holy Trail. We’ve got some ideas for new new events for 2018 too so keep following us on social media to get the news first!

Check out our great collection of event photos HERE and watch our event film below!

Thank you to everyone that came and took part in our second SwimRun event and made it such a great day, many of you now feel like friends and I can’t wait to see you again next year! We would also like to thank our friends, volunteers, marshals, our sponsors Zone3, Wild Trail, Padarn Country Park,  Wildman Media, Sports Pictures Cymru, Snowdoina Water Sports, Pete’s Eats and Colwyn Bay Water Sports for all your support and for helping make Love SwimRun Llanberis 2017 happen. Roll on 2018!

Chloe & Jonny
Race Organisers – Love SwimRun

Great event, registration was easy plus the bag drop was useful as I’d left the car at the hotel. The route was a figure of eight that sent us round the lake, down the lake, up above the lake, across it, back down to the far end of the lake, up a slate mine, down through the trees, back up the lake before the final crossing to the finish. Bits of the run were very technical, particularly the downhill sections at the end of run 4 but made it so much more fun. The climb in the slate mine is hard but enjoyable, plenty of camaraderie among competitors.

It had a great friendly feel to it. Competitive but in the nicest way possible. Everybody waited for the final swimmers to come in and they got the biggest cheers.

Post-race pizza is a must for all events – really hit the spot. Great medal and the photos of the event are amazing. The location of the event is stunning. We were fortunate with the weather although I don’t think a bit of rain would have been a problem as it gets a bit warm running in a wetsuit.

I’ve no real negatives to take from the race – there was some congestion during swim 1… but in no way a showstopper from my perspective. Well done LoveSwimRun – it was lovely to be part of your event and I can’t wait to come back next year.

Nicole C

Loved today’s event. So friendly and well organised, even the weather turned out okay. This was my first SwimRun, but it definitely won’t be my last. Big thanks to everyone who made it happen.

Charlotte M

Love this race!

Pros:

  • Epic course
  • Great views
  • Nice place to make a weekend of it
  • Good prizes
  • Free photos
  • Stonebaked pizza at the finish
  • Good coffee available pre/post race

Cons:

  • One corner of the lake is freeeeeeezing!
Adam G

Great event – will be back next year!

Vanesssa F

Twas a great event – Thank you! Looking forward to the next one at Holy Island – see you there.

Ian O

We travelled up to Llanberis on Friday taking 6 hours to get there and when we arrived it was windy and raining, but I have to say that the event was worth it. From the relaxed, friendly and inclusive atmosphere to the stunning course it had a bit of everything. The weather brightened and the support from marshals and other competitors was brilliant. Will definitely be back again and would recommend this race to everyone, it’s also a great intro into Swimrun whilst not having to race for 40-50km.
John Y

Great event Chloe and Jonny. Really enjoyed the day, brilliant first swimrun event for me. Thank you.

Jane W

Thank you All so much for Yesterday, wow your SwimRun Llanberis is my new All time favourite event… Love bob.

Bob H

So glad we made llanberis our first swimrun. Learnt lots and will definitely be back next year.

Nicola G

Thank you for a great event in Llanberis! I was only able to go out for a run and swim today…it’s taken me that long to recover. And now I have Holyhead to look forward to….YAY!

Del V

Great fun! First timer for swim run here, registration was nice and easy and in a cafe, perfect. Race day morning was nice and relaxed, briefing was informative, to the point (and funny). The race was nice and straightforward, well marked and marshalled, all were very encouraging and smiling which helps. The course while relatively short had its challenges with a couple of good climbs followed by technical descents. The surroundings were awesome, but hey it was in Wales, what else would you expect!

All in all great well run race, would definitely return next year. Thanks to all involved with the organisation.

Craig F

Thank you so much Chloe for making my first ever SwimRun event so exciting! Anna and I were the 2nd female team that came over the line and we loved it!!!

Polly O