Swimrun the Riviera

Do you want to extend the swimrun season? Go to France! Last year Annika and I raced our first French race Swimrunman in April. Daniel and I ended our season in November on the French Island La Reúnion and last weekend it was time to hit the Riviera to get season 2018 started.

I have positive experience from racing in France. It’s a good atmosphere among the racers and the organizers are very dedicated. Swimrun the Riviera is no exception. The event is well organized and we were well taken care of by the organization.

Photo: Hiep Images

As always an explosive start. Lucky there are photographers that captures these moments. I’m always so focused while racing that it takes me probably one hour into the races before I start to lift my eyes and take in the surroundings.

Photo: Jean-Marie Gueye

The race was about 7km of swimming and 21km of running and took off at 7 in the morning. We followed the coastline from the old town in Nice towards Monaco. I expected it to be quite exploited but even though most of the trails are man-made they feel natural as they follow the terrain.

Photo: Christophe Poyer

We stayed close to the coastline almost all the time and were spoiled with beautiful scenery when we looked up. The morning hours were calm; no wind and morning sun.

The entire course was unmarked. We had some concern about this before the race but the organization assured us that it would be pretty straightforward and if not, they use marshals to point out the way. At the long swims (1000-1500 meters) the organization would use boats to lead us in the right direction. Previous experiences from this type of setup has not always been so good as the boats that should guide us sometimes forgets that we are navigating after them. The Race directors listened to our concern and delivered a very good assistance and guidance where it was needed so we could focus on racing and moving forward as fast as possible.

Photo: Jean-Marie Gueye

The last part of the race included three swims 1100m, 1500m and 500m with short but technical rocky passages in-between. A rather tough section if the weather had been bad but we were lucky with sunshine, no wind and 16 degrees in the water.

Photo: Jean-Marie Gueye

On the short running sections we were passing some small isolated nudist beaches. It was very technical running to get there and I guess the sunbathers didn’t expect this rush of people running by. I felt sorry for the naked meditating man who must have been constantly interrupted by all of us running by in our wetsuits. At some points it was so narrow between the rock wall and the water that we more or less had to jump over a naked woman as we came in high speed. All went well though.

Photo: Christophe Poyer

Annika and I were racing close to our fellow competitors in the Ticino Coaching team during almost the whole course. On the last swim we were swimming side by side and entered the beach at the same time.

Photo: Jean-Marie Gueye

The last run was 2,5km with 400 altitude meters along the “Nietzsche footpath” up to the finish line in the beautiful mountain village Eze.

Photo: Jean-Marie Gueye

 Annika and I pushed hard to gain distance to the other teams and when we crossed the finish line we were both super happy of our performance.

Photo: Christophe Poyer

We managed to take the third place overall and win the women category.  It was our first race of the season and although the result itself was not the focus, we had a good flow throughout the race. A positive start of the season.

Thanks Jean-Marie (picured), Christophe Poyer and Hiep Pictures for great pictures from the race

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