Swim Run Australia 2019 wrap up

Getting the swimrun bug

By Lisa Sherman

In late April 2018, my husband Grant and I headed down to Woollahra Sailing Club to cheer on coach Greta and a couple of friends who were taking part in Swimrun Australia. We were in awe of these teams of two that were swimming and running around 17+ kms from the sailing club up through Vaucluse, Watson’s Bay, and Camp Cove before turning around at South Head and doing it all back again. Whatever you were wearing you had to swim in and run in (shoes, wetsuits, pull buoys etc) and we just thought there was no way we would be able to take on a challenge like that…

Fast forward to early October 2018 on our last day at the Rejoov Clare Valley camp, and along with Greta, I found myself frantically trying to register for this years event as it sells out quickly. The 2019 event sold out within five hours but we were able to secure our spot. Great - we were registered, but now we had to work out how we were going to actually do this! I’ve been a swimmer for awhile, using it as great cross training or when recovering from an injury, and had recently overcome my fear of swimming in open water, so I wasn’t too daunted by the swimming but Grant wasn’t into swimming - this was going to be a challenge for us, especially the constant transitioning from running to swimming to running and so on.

But like all challenges, if you have a plan you can make it work. We got to know the course over the summer months, spending our Saturday’s doing swimrun sessions around Vaucluse, Watson’s Bay and Camp Cove, similar to the event course. We trialled different options for carrying pull buoys or having them on a belt and worked out the best shoes to run and swim in. We sorted out our nutrition and what’s best to carry when you are going in and out of the water and did a couple of smaller events including 3 Bays Challenge with a big gang of fellow Rejoovers in mid November 2018 and then a SwimRun Splash event in Wollongong in early March. Grant got over his dislike of getting in the pool and upped his swim mileage, mainly in the harbour around Shark Bay, Nelson’s Park - but than, how can you not love swimming when you have the gorgeous Sydney Harbour as your backdrop?

As the event drew closer, it was great to find out there were going to be some other Rejoov teams taking on the Swimrun challenge - Michael and Nadine, Fran and Cathy, Claire and Susan, and of course coach Greta trying the mixed teams with young speedster Jack McPhee. Some of us trained together which was awesome and that’s one of the best things about event’s like these and being part of a fantastic group like Rejoov - it’s the people you get to meet, train with and help each other to achieve these goals we set for ourselves.

This year’s SwimRun event was held on 27 April 2019 and what a cracker of a day! The buzz before the event was evident and the time flew by, before we knew it we were off, racing over sand and into the water. The first ‘swim’ ended up mainly being a “dolpining” wade as the tide was so low but this is what makes Swimrun so enjoyable - you really don’t know what the course will be like as it’s so dependent on conditions. The banter on the course was great, and being a team event (teams of two and you must stay within 10m of each other at all times), there was always someone to chat with. With so many transitions in/out of the water (there are 27 transitions for this event in total), the time flies with swumrun - before you know it you’re at the half way turning point, a run for the same length of time never seems to go as quick LOL.

A massive high during the event was seeing so many fellow Rejoovers out cheering us on - Emma and Mila at Nelson Park, Saorla at Watson’s Bay, coach Chris at various points - there really is nothing like having people on the course cheering you on. And they took some cracking photos too which is always good!

Lisa and Grant stoked with their debut 2hrs 18mins!!

Lisa and Grant stoked with their debut 2hrs 18mins!!

Rejoov teams nervous before the start!!

Rejoov teams nervous before the start!!

Mixed teams 1st and 2nd battling it out from the get go

Mixed teams 1st and 2nd battling it out from the get go

Rejoov Runner Awards

Receiving Tailwind community spirit and performance awards in 2019:

-Lisa Mintz - Osteopath, Mum & Grandma, Narrabeen marathon all-nighter 76km in January and her debut 100 MILE NZ Northburn in March getting the belt buckle inside the cut off 48hour!! How amazing!

-Zac Smith 5k track pb progression currently 18.39 and 10k PB by 4mins 40.06, and all his support for the club.

-Jamie Broom for his track 5k track pb progression currently 18.35 and 10k PB by 4.29mins Sydney 10k 38.36.

-Congratulations runners of the month 2018 zebras Robin Ball & Victoria Raymond on their enthusiasm & hugely fun spirit in achieving the Coastal Classic & Larapinta Trail in 2018. Prizes sponsored by thermaTech www.sherpa.com.au Check our their great gear!

- Adam Ballesty amazing team support, White Fence Track Club (WFTC) Wed nights daylight savings initiative, marathon prep as he leads into New York 2018

- Olivia Ho 10k PB 41mins, GC marathon 3.23 with 2 little kids & working 2018

- Emma Trehy community running support, Achilles running guide, pbs across 5k, 10k & half marathon this year 2018

- Cathy Rowney 10k & half marathon PBs and comeback after breast cancer 2018

August 2018. Training hard & having a laugh with @reidy__ & the gang. Congrats to rejoov monthly award winners @adamballesty Olivia Ho @em_heart_smiles & @cathyrowney with @paceathletic nifty travel drink shakers & Tailwind protein sachets. Congrats Jacqui Fox our longest rejoover ❤️of over ten years, enjoy the waist belt & 💐 flowers.

August 2018. Training hard & having a laugh with @reidy__ & the gang. Congrats to rejoov monthly award winners @adamballesty Olivia Ho @em_heart_smiles & @cathyrowney with @paceathletic nifty travel drink shakers & Tailwind protein sachets. Congrats Jacqui Fox our longest rejoover ❤️of over ten years, enjoy the waist belt & 💐 flowers.

Mary Stringer - over 60 & smashing it! 42min Sydney 10k 2018, winning age groups in Sydney

Zac Smith - Alpine Ascent 50k, UTA 100k, awesome team spirit & photos 

Rachel Birds - training the house down, getting strong on trails and winning the Equaliser technical trail event 2018, Sydney 10k pb & GC half marathon pb 2018 

Maya Borthwick - 10k 38mins, c2s 55mins, half 85mins and marathon 3.09 pbs 

Matt Wacher - 5k track pb, 10k pb, C2S pb, half marathon pb 2017 what a year!! 

Jo Hadley - Sydney 10k PB 2018, Canberra marathon PB, GC half PB 

Tommy & Tara - training spirit award, C2S, Blackmores & Smh half marathon pbs   

Lisa Sherman - half marathon pb, great ocean road ultra 60k 

Sammie Feeley - PBs across all distances 5k, 10k, half marathon & a marathon debut 

Fran Boorer - trail running events, amazing team support & long runs

Lisa Studencki - training hard, friendly, wonderful spirit, Larapinta Trail Legend 

Susan McCallum - over 50s kicking goals! 

Ben Feld - over 50 age group, 17.10 park run PB 2017, 37.28 Sydney Harbour 10k PB 2018

Rachael Honeywood - Boston Marathon pb 3.23 2017 

Lesley Mason - breaking PBs across all distances

Juny Xi Yang - 102km Tarawera ultra marathon top 20 female Feb 2018. Marathon PB 3.18 GC 2018

Grant Sherman - Melbourne 10k pb and Canberra half marathon pb 

Larissa Williams - Kokoda Trail and her debut smh half marathon 2017 

We couldn't split these two, not even with a dance off ;), so congrats fellas, our 2 outstanding runners of August 2016: 
- Darren McGregor (DMac) for nailing his c2s pb and then 5 days later racing the Syd Oxfam Trailwalker 100kms his team raising $8k. He also had a half pb on the GC in July too. 
- Johnny McCormack (JMac) for his supreme training efforts & group support, C2S PB and winning the Mums and Sons team. He's also struck 10k & half pbs this year! 
Thanks @toddridge @therunningcompanybondibeach for your gift vouchers. Everyone check out the Garmin forerunner 35 / 235 including inbuilt heart rate monitor, pedometer, waterproof as well as pace, distance etc. https://buy.garmin.com/en-AU/AU/sports-recreation/running/forerunner-35/prod552962.html
#oxfamtrailwalker #100k #citytosurf #goldcoast#sydney #10k #halfmarathon #rejoovrunners

 — with Darren MacGregorJohnny MacTodd Ridge and The Running Company - Bondi Beach at The Running Company - Bondi Beach.

Darren & Johnny

Darren & Johnny

Canberra Marathon by Dom Bullock

Australian Running Festival - debut marathon 2:40:17 smashing his 2.50 target

by Dominic Bullock (24 years old, he also ran the Sydney 10k 4/5/19 just 3 weeks post marathon, in a NEW PB 33.44, 50 secs quicker than his 34.34 PB from the same event a year ago. Next up is the Sydney Harbour 10k late July, City to Surf, Blackmores half marathon, then possibly Melbourne Marathon)

33:44 PB Sydney 10k 4/5/19 Dom Bullock coming onto the track sprint finish off of the road course, about to overtake Brendan Fehon in black

33:44 PB Sydney 10k 4/5/19 Dom Bullock coming onto the track sprint finish off of the road course, about to overtake Brendan Fehon in black

After taking a 6 month break from running, having previously trained for the 800m for the past three years. I was keen for a new challenge but wanted a break from the lactic headaches and hobbling that middle-distance training entailed. The marathon became quite appealing, an event where just getting out the door as often as possible with a few tempos thrown in should be enough, quite a contrast from the brutal speed and endurance work I had previously trained for.

Three months out from Canberra I set the goal of running under 2hours and 50minutes thinking that 4minutes per km seemed like a very respectable but, challenging time for me. I was very nervous stepping up for to the marathon hearing horror stories of people crawling in the last few kms. This kept me quite motivated however, and I ran 30km every Sunday a good 20+km tempo each fortnight.

With 1 month to go I joined Rejoov looking to start working a little harder through training with a squad and getting the guidance of a coach. Running with Rejoov kept me motivated and I actual began to enjoy getting up early to grind out a tough tempo session. These tempo sessions gave me confidence in my running that would be crucial come race day.

Before I knew it race day was here. It was perfect running conditions in the nation’s Capital, cool temperate around 10-15 degrees with not a buff of wind. I felt strangely relaxed on the start line thinking about the long tempos and early mornings I had sacrificed to be here. When the gun went I settled into 4min/km pace however, after 1km felt like I had more to give. I stepped up the pace until I reach a speed similar to how I felt in my tempos. I ran past a few other runner until reaching a pack of 2 other runner.

We worked together rotating the lead for the first half of the race. We crossed the half way mark and I looked at my watch – 1:18:00 – I had just run a half marathon PB. A little panic came over me thinking this could become the nightmare race I had feared. One of the runners in the pack dropped off the pace. It was now just me and one other runner tapping away for the next 20kms. I lead until 34km, I was entering new territory now I had never ran this far before. I could feel the stress of the race catching up to me now and I was began to strain to keep pace. I can remember shouting encouragement to the runner accompanying me and we made a pact we would do our best to shoot for 2hour 40minutes.

At 36km I began to enter a bad batch. I slowed about 20 seconds off the pace I had set out at and every negative thought seemed to be heightened in this venerable emotional state. I saw my family standing on the corner of a hair pin turn cheering me as I came down to the turn. I was so glad to see them, and my spirits began to lift again. I held this slower pace and tried my best to keep up with the other runner for the final 6km in the end he slowly starting drifting away from me but, the hard work had already been done.

Sprinting into the finishing straight I saw the clock it over to 2:40:17. I had smashed my goal! And achieve something I thought was way beyond me. It got me thinking what next and has excited me to see what else I’ll be capable of achieving with the as a member of the Rejoov community!

Dom staying ahead of Athletics NSW co-ordinator James Constantine. Epic race post marathon!!

Dom staying ahead of Athletics NSW co-ordinator James Constantine. Epic race post marathon!!