THE BASICS

SwimRun Cape Cod is a one-day event with two distances. The Medium Course race consists of: 9.7 miles of running and 1.8 miles of fresh-water swimming across 7 bodies of water. There is also a Short option: 4 miles of running and 0.75 miles of swimming across three fresh-water ponds. A Long Course category is planned for next year, 2025.

Like many swim-run competitions, we welcome solo competitors or teams of two athletes. All registrations for this event must be made in advance. There will be no day-of-race sign-ups.

The race is point-to point (from the Atlantic Ocean into the Truro Highlands, down to the kettle pond district, and into Wellfleet Village). Athletes will park near the finish line at the Wellfleet Elementary School. Short course athletes will be shuttled to the start; super-short distance athletes will start at the school.

SwimRun Cape Cod was developed for those looking for a new and unique challenge. Race direction is headed by Andy Scherding and Kathleen Walker of New England Endurance Events.

THE COURSE

The Medium Course race starts on Ballston Beach at 8am, at about 30 minutes past low tide. After a half-mile run alongside the ocean on a firm sand bar left by the tides, racers head up a cliff into the highlands of Truro. They will work their way for three miles to Snow’s Pond for the first swim: a short 100 yards. They’ll emerge to follow the non-paved Old Kings Highway (one of the oldest still-existing roads in the U.S.) to Slough Pond for a quarter-mile crossing. When they emerge from Slough they will now be in Wellfleet, where they will follow mostly jeep trails to Higgins Pond (1/8 mile swim), Gull (1/2), Long (1/2), Great (1/8) and Dyer (1/6). After leaving Dyer, a one-mile trail run brings them to the finish line in Wellfleet.

The Short race is intended to introduce athletes to the swim-run concept and should be comfortably accomplished by those who have completed a sprint triathlon. This race starts one hour later, at 9am, departing from the Wellfleet Elementary School. Athletes will run one mile to Long Pond, where they will swim 1/2 mile. Then it’s off to Great Pond (1/8 mile) and Dyer (1/6) followed by a one-mile trail run to the finish line.

Run course markings consist of stake flags arranged almost like bread crumbs. Racers are responsible for following these plentiful flags as they run the course. There are some segments where the runners will travel alongside a paved road. All athletes must stay to the side of the road and follow all traffic regulations.

All ponds have sandy entrances/exits. Water temperature is expected to be in the low 70s. Water crossings will be lifeguarded to meet USAT standards. Nutrition and hydration stations as well as portable restrooms will be at the entrance or exit to ponds at five evenly spaced points.

As weather plays a critical role in swim races (primarily, thunderstorms), some or all of the swim segments may need to be canceled. Instead, athletes will follow signs to detour around each pond and then continue along the course.

Racer coming out of the water

REQUIREMENTS

Each athlete must attend the virtual Athlete’s Meeting the Tuesday before the race or watch it later on YouTube.

All athletes must wear the race-provided swim caps while swimming. Lost caps will can be replaced at the entrance to each pond. Let the race organizers know in advance if you have a latex allergy.

All participants will be provided with bright green “safety swimmer” buoy devices with leash. Wearing a buoy is mandatory for solo racers or teams who are not tethered together — although athletes can substitute their own buoy if they wish. The race-supplied buoy has an inner cavity to carry shoes and nutrition, and is yours to keep.

All participants will be provided with number markings for on-course identification by race officials. These will take the place of bibs, and can be worn over any tri suit, swimsuit or wetsuit.

Equipment that is generally accepted at most swim-run events are allowed here. This includes goggles and masks, wetsuits, hand paddles, pull buoys, and specialty swim-run shoes. Note: you do not need to use all of these. As to shoes, some athletes prefer to take off their shoes for the swim segments. Tethers for teams are optional and are not provided.

This is a sustainable event. For example, at aid stations if an athlete takes one of the race-supplied paper cups they must remain at that spot until finished and the cup is disposed of. Consider a soft-flask as part of your equipment list.

If there are intermediate buoys on the swim course (orange), swimmers must pass within 10 yards of that buoy. End points are marked with large yellow triangular buoys.

Teams must remain together throughout the race.

No “friends” or “coaches” are allowed to run or swim with you during the event.

TIME LIMIT

With start times of 8 and 9am, athletes are expected to have finished both race distances by 11:15. Race officials may end a racer’s journey at any point if it clearly becomes impossible that the athlete can meet this finish time. As the event has a strict “close-down” agreement with the National Seashore, please accept such a decision with good grace.

The race will provide all athletes with precision timing, but it will be an “overall time,” without splits.

AWARDS

Awards ceremony time and place to be announced to all athletes this summer. Awards will go to top solo men and women, mixed teams, female teams and male teams. Solo awards will include Open, Senior, and Masters categories. Non-binary categories will be awarded if warranted by registration data.

Our 2024 Charity Partner:
Habitat for Humanity

Finding appropriate and affordable housing is nearly impossible for many families. That is why we have made Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod our Charity Partner as they partner with families in need of an affordable home to build one of their own.

Habitat has built in every town on the Cape, and in the past few years have completed 14 homes in Brewster, 2 in Mashpee, 1 in Orleans and 6 in Harwich, with 10 more in Falmouth, 2 in Chatham and 3 in Sandwich currently under construction. Future builds will be in Dennis, Yarmouth, Brewster, Wellfleet and more.

We appreciate your help in supporting what they do for our community.