The Great East SwimRun brings a new challenge for runners, swimmers and triathletes to Alton Water.
I was asked to photograph the Great East SwimRun which was held at Alton Water for the first time in June this year. Over the last few years The Great East Swim has been a popular and successful event, but this year the Great East SwimRun was introduced as an extra dimension to the traditional open water swimming event for those seeking an additional challenge.
The inaugural Great East SwimRun attracted runners and swimmers from all over the UK who were looking to step up to a new challenge from the traditional triathlete format.
The concept for the event was born in Sweden and since it’s inception in 2006 is now one of the fastest growing endurance sports in the UK and brings together a endurance, a sense of adventure and nun !
Teams of two navigate a course of approx 11.3 kilometres which involves four swims and three runs accorss the landscape of the stunning Alton Water taking on land and water. The runs takes in flat grassland and light woodland as well as three step descents and several short sharp climbs as well as undulating, sweeping runs on a variety of surfaces. The swimming elements of the course take up approx 20% of the distance with running taking approx 80% of the distance.
Teamwork is essential. Each pair is responsible for each other’s safety and support, remaining close to each other at all times, succeeding or failing together.
SwimRun rules are simple – complete your chosen distance carrying everything you need from start to finish; this means wearing your trainers and wetsuit for both the land and water sections of the course!
I was commissioned to capture photographs of the athletes at a variety of different locations out on the cross country course, which was very amusing as I had to use a mountain bike to dash around to the different locations while carrying all my camera gear… this made me realise I wasn’t quite as fit as the athletes!