SwimRunMan Laffrey - France - 2022 - 1st

I raced the first two races in the SwimRunMan series at Gorges du Verdon and île de Vassivière this year. They were my first two SwimRun races and I loved them (you can see how much I enjoyed them in my race reports). I really wanted to do the final race in the series at Lacs de Laffrey, but the timing wasn't ideal as I raced at the Swiss Alps 100 last weekend. I decided to enter the shorter Sprint distance this time around and hoped that my body could handle another race in quick succession.

Lacs de Laffrey is a beautiful venue for a race, the organisation was excellent again, and the conditions were perfect. I was so excited to be there, and at the registration and at startline I recognised some athletes from the previous two events. I knew I had made the right decision to come and race when I started my warm-up and felt pretty good. My legs responded well during some strides and I was extremely motivated to race fast and hard.

The race started a little more slowly than I expected. I thought it was going to be a sprint and I pushed the first run and arrived at the first swim with two other athletes. From there, the race settled a little as the leading team was much stronger in the water than me and they immediately pulled ahead. There was a mixed team who came past me in the swim and I gradually slipped into their draft and stayed on their feet through the next couple of swims and runs.

From about halfway it was only the leading men's team ahead of me and I felt like I would close the gap a little on each run and they would open it a bit more on each swim. With two longer runs towards the end I was trying my best to catch them, but they were just too strong. Overall, I held my position in the Solo category, and I was very pleased to be able to achieve a good performance and keep pushing all the way to the end. I was over the moon to win my first SwimRun race and to win my first race of the season!

At the end of the 3rd run and about to start the 3rd swim.

My transitions out of the water are slowly improving.

Almost done - running down the finish chute.

I've had an excellent series in the SwimRunMan events!

A few notes on gear:

  • In my first two races I used a Re:mARK suit (demo or with minor use) from ARK Sports. It was the Korp model and as I was in between sizes I went for the smaller model. It cost EUR100 and it was an amazing suit that blew me away with its quality and lightness (compared to my 20-year old triathlon wetsuit!).
  • After the first two races I knew I would be doing more events and committed to getting the ARK ORNÖ X suit, this time one size larger. This suit is incredible. It is so comfortable, the pockets are perfectly placed, and the bottom half is so flexible and easy to run in that it feels like wearing running half-tights and not a wetsuit. It is one of my favorite pieces of gear.
  • I used the largest buoy allowed, the ARK KEEL+, which I believe helps with my relatively heavy trail runner legs (my proportions are a little different to the other racers who have much stronger arms and upper bodies).
  • I used the ARK BLADE paddles in a medium size. These paddles are great and I like how flexible they are. At the moment they're still a bit too big for me (I don't have enough power to turn them over at my optimal cadence), but with some more training I think they will be perfect.

Race result

21 August 2022
15.5km (2.6km swim, 12.9km run)

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