Taking to the small island between Malta and Gozo, the Comino SwimRun challenge is the latest adrenaline-fuelled initiative by local ‘ultramarathon’ organisers Xterra. It’s also the first of its kind to ever be organised on our islands, so you just know it’s going to be good.
The challenge sees competitors alternating a number of times between swimming and running, roughly covering the distance of 2 kilometres in swimming, and 8km in running, in one of the most beautiful backdrops around. While it might seem very gruelling, the Comino SwimRun doesn’t actually mean to thin the herd and only attract the most elite challengers.
The challenge’s arrival in Malta follows the latest fitness craze that has slowly been taking over the world ever since it was made popular by Sweden’s ÖTILLÖ.
Now, Comino will host the first SwimRun to be organised on the island, on the morning of Saturday 29th September.
As if you needed any more reason to join in the fun, all proceeds will go to an awesome cause
That’s right; your €15 – that’s €30 for each pair – will not only grant you a spot at the first SwimRun to come to the Maltese Islands (which also happens to have some breathtaking views).
You’ll also be helping raise money for Special Olympics Malta, who will benefit from all the proceeds of the challenge’s entry fees. Together, we’ll be helping these people pursue their dreams in various sport disciplines!
If you’re thinking of joining this challenge, you might need to follow some of these tips
Ok, so we’ve honestly never attempted something of this level, so anything we say should be taken with a pinch of salt.
But here are some things you might want to keep in mind ahead of the awesome SwimRun challenge.
1. Familiarise yourself with the challenge’s surroundings
This is the perfect opportunity to admire our island’s beautiful biodiversity. If you want more reasons to appreciate the absolute gorgeousness that is Comino, you might want to check out the teaser of a documentary releasing later this year on the island’s jaw-dropping underwater beauty.
In fact, the SwimRun is being supported by the Malta Airport Foundation ahead of the release of this documentary, so it’s the perfect time to know what you’ll be running and swimming for… and among!
2. Hold off on eating pastizzi at least 24 hours before
You don’t need that tasty ricotta and pea mixture holding you back. Don’t worry, they’ll be waiting for you after you’re done, and you’ll have a good reason to celebrate… by eating a good old tużżana.
3. Spend the day at the beach and get some proper swimming done
Get a feel for the water, just in case you haven’t managed to get some proper swimming done this summer. Now’s your moment to get familiar with the big blue… and knock off some of those kilos you gained over summer.
What we reckon we’d look like right about now
4. Practise walking up and down the office (or block) a couple of times per day
If you’re new to the concept of marathons, maybe multiple laps around the office will help you get in the mood.
You might think that’s a little ridiculous, but trust us; you don’t need to be part of the elite to succeed in this challenge.
“You honestly don’t need to be a professional to take part,” the organisers told Lovin Malta. “Some level of fitness helps, of course, but the aim for our inaugural event is to attract participants who are curious about the experience, not necessarily wanting to compete to win. The run route will therefore be held on designated pathways and not extreme trail.”
You heard them; it’s time to power walk your way to victory!
5. Mental preparation
Your body isn’t the only thing that should be gearing up for the challenge ahead.
Meditate, think about every step of the challenge ahead, and put yourself in the proper headspace. You can do everything you set your mind on.
Also, you can rest assured that the organisers are doing everything they can to make sure that all the competitors can embark on this challenge knowing that various safety precautions have been taken. The SwimRun will be making sure that all participants race in pairs; whether you’re competing or just up for a personal challenge, you can rest easy ahead of the race, knowing that you’ll be safe. If you don’t have a buddy in mind yet, Xterra will even help match you up; so that’s one less thing to think about in the quest to free your mind.
When all else fails, use all your mental power to think about those pastizzi on the finish line.
Now if you don’t find any of the above useful, it’s probably because we’ve never been a part of a challenge of this level. But don’t worry; you don’t need to be a pro to take part!
There’s even a list of equipment that is either mandatory (like swimming goggles) or recommended (like a pull-buoy), so you should definitely check it out if you’re thinking of joining the challenge.