The origins of SwimRun come from Sweden, and a race called Otillo. The first Otillo race was in 2006, in the archipelago outside of Stockholm. The race distance is 10km of swimming and 65km of running conducted across 26 different islands. It involves swimming from island to island, and running across the islands, all the while remaining with a partner. Otillo presents all sorts of challenges due to unforgiving and varied terrains, water and air temperature and conditions, as well as the challenges of working with a partner and of gearing. As such it was selected by CNN as being one of the World's toughest endurance challenges.

Otillo gave birth to a sport called SwimRun. Since 2006, SwimRun has proliferated across Europe, and is now reaching the shores of North America.

SwimRun Edmonton is the first race of its kind in the region, and brings a flavour of the race that started it all. Edmonton's pristine river valley provides an ideal location to get a taste of Otillo and the heart of SwimRun. Athletes will experience the fun, the teamwork, the connection with nature, and the challenge that this sport offers!

The Equipment

For your first race, it is not critical that you invest in all of the gear. Your standard wetsuit will get the job done, or if you want to simulate close to a SwimRun wetsuit, you may take an old wetsuit and trim it just above the knees, and possibly at the bicep as well. A good pair of goggles, and a pair of trail running shoes with decent drainage and you are set!

Tethers are not required, but do help you stay with your partner. Especially during swims it can be difficult to stay together, so they do come in handy. Paddles and a pull buoy are commonly used. The pull buoy counteracts the weight of the running shoes to help keep you in a good swimming body position, so they are especially beneficial for weaker swimmers. The paddles can certainly increase the pace at which you cover the course, but just make sure that you've practiced swimming longer distances with paddles. They can also tire you out!

Tucking a collapsible water bottle or cup into your wetsuit is highly recommended. SwimRun is meant to be working as a team to move through nature. As such, we are trying to disturb the environment as little as possible and create as little waste as possible. SwimRun Edmonton will expect you to have your own bottle or cup to fill at aid stations as we will not be providing disposable cups at the aid stations.


In SwimRun, you are responsible for the safety of your team mate, and the other racers. As such, I strongly urge you to watch the following video:


If you are looking to learn more about SwimRun, American swimrunner Marcus Barton has some great videos on YouTube to introduce you to the sport and the gear. They have been posted below.

Not sure where to start? Endurance Sport Racing would be willing to help you get to the start line!

SwimRun Edmonton is a proud supporter of Tree Canada. 2 trees will be planted for each race registrant. To learn more about Tree Canada, follow the link below!