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Strong swimmers complain that they get shortchanged by the traditional triathlon format, in which the swimming leg is by far the shortest. In an aquathlon, the cycling portion of the triathlon is tossed out in favour of a run/swim/run combo or simply two swims followed by a run.
Aquathlons are also attractive to race organizers, who don't have to worry about securing road space for the cycling leg of a triathlon, which is traditionally the longest. Since aquathlons are limited to running and swimming, the event can be contained in a relatively small location like a lake and nearby woodland trail.
One of the more famous aquathlons is the Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon in California's San Francisco Bay. The original Alcatraz Challenge, first run in 1983, was a triathlon based on the Ironman in Hawaii. Racers would swim from the infamous Alcatraz rock to the shore, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, then run the 7-mile (11.2-kilometer) Dipsea trail twice [source: Alcatraz Challenge]. The current race format has been shortened to an aquathlon, in which racers brave the cold, choppy waters (with or without wetsuits), then run across the Golden Gate to the finish.
Combing swimming and running can help your psychological outlook on both, helping to head off staleness and overtraining. If your body allows you to run, aquathlons or aquathons are a great way to cross train, adding some extra variety, training gains, and scenery to your workouts. Can't run? You can still add some walking to your training mix. Swimming has some good things for runners, too. Try adding some aquathlons or aquathons into your training or racing.
Rules at a glance
The races vary - it might be an aquathon (swim/run) or an aquathlon (run/swim/run), but either way a race is a race. The variety could be a refreshing change from the "single sport" events. Even if there are not events in your area, training as if you are doing a swim - run event can benefit your:
- Leg strength
- General endurance
- Recovery from training
- Frame of mind
Learn more about Aquathlon in London here: http://www.trifinder.co.uk/