SwimRun NC - another great run in the books
After a passionate heart to heart talk from the 3 race directors a day earlier, a beautiful day and very hard course awaited teams from all over the world for the third annual SwimRun NC - a very mountainous ÖtillÖ Merit race. 5 athletes from Sweden were among the starters and that is the country where this sport originated. The racing itself was tough, but smiles and friendly words were present everywhere. This course features a total distance of 15 miles of running and 2 miles of swimming, broken up into 10 technical trail runs and 9 open water swims - plus there are 2 beautiful waterfall sections to climb through along the way. Very brisk water temperatures of 55 degrees in the Hanging Rock State Park Lake and 53 degrees in the Dan River made the swimming chilly, but the air temperature rose steadily from the mid 40s to the mid 60s aided by the sun and beautiful blue skies and in the end all had a good time.
Everyone seemed calm and collected at the start, but there were certainly some nervous folks out there. The defending champions Team Orca / GU Crew with Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity (bib 100) were chased hard all day by the Every Man Jack team of Alan Horton and Jack McAfee (bib 103), and Team Wattie Ink with Eric Limkemann and Robert Flanigan plus Team Teufel Hunden with Billy Edwards and Manny Arruda. At SwimRun NC the bib numbers rotate each year and female teams had the lowest bib numbers in 2018. The top ranked team 1 featured Misty Becerra from the 2016 winning female team, and Kristen Smith Jeno from the 2017 winning team. They looked great all day and very focused.
The Window Falls section is iconic and when athletes first enter that area they are typically in awe. But full attention is always required as the terrain is very technical. There are great chances to get completely wet while running, and it does not seem to bother folks. The Swedes entered into the race had a very strong showing. Patrik Rung and Therese Näsman of Team Motvind in the mixed division raced smart and reeled in many other teams in the second half of the race and grabbed the final podium spot.
2018 SwimRun NC results
Hanging Rock State Park, NC
1. Misty Becerra and Kristen Smith Jeno (Have We Met?) 3:59:19
2. Jennifer Devers and Bridget Phillips (Tethered Tootin' Ta Tas) 4:06:51
3. Rachel Dolan and Katherine Tobin (#Rage On) 4:13:08
1. Sonja Wieck and Anthony Beeson (soFun) 3:44:04
2. Amy Krakauer and Marcus Carson (MACK Attack) 3:45:00
3. Therese Näsman and Patrik Rung (Team Motvind) 3:56:41
1. Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity (Team Orca / GU Crew) 3:12:59.65
2. Alan Horton and Jack McAfee (Team Every Man Jack) 3:13:03.04
3. Eric Limkemann and Robert Flanigan (Team Wattie Ink) 3:22:54
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Caleb and I raced SwimRunNC last year and had a BLAST. We battled it out in the last 100 meters (or so) of the race to win the 3rd