Extreme Openwater and Ice Swimmer Ryan Stramrood takes up the Torpedo challenge

Entries are still open for the second Torpedo SwimRun, which takes place on 19 November in Cape Town. Extreme open water and ice swimmer Ryan Stramrood has entered the race with fellow extreme swimmer Mark de Klerk as his teammate. Ryan has never worn a wetsuit for open water swimming before, and he does not own a pair of running shoes, but has decided to step far out of his comfort zone to take up the challenge.

The Torpedo SwimRun is a two-person team race where teams swim and run together from start to finish across Cape Town’s most iconic beaches and bays, with Llandudno, Oudekraal, Camps Bay and Clifton forming part of the 16km route.

Based on the popular overseas format, SwimRun attracts athletes from all spectrums of the sporting community, from surfers to trail runners, triathletes to paddlers – athletes with one common thread – the love of being in nature and challenging their bodies. SwimRun will see these athletes compete against each other over terrain that is both foreign and familiar to them, with short beach-to-beach swims and bursts of running, scrambling and rock-hopping.

Ryan is a well-recognized inspirational speaker, and spends significant time pushing all his audiences to remove themselves from anything that resembles a comfort zone. The mental process and toughness needed to overcome and greatly extend time in extreme cold water conditions will inform his training, but when it comes to Torpedo SwimRun, Ryan considers himself a novice:

“Torpedo SwimRun is a great opportunity to do just what I say – to my push personal boundaries and go into territory unfamiliar to me. I have never run an official race before, and participating wearing a wetsuit and running shoes will certainly be a whole new ballgame for me and my teammate Mark. With only five weeks left before the race, we are getting stuck into learning how to run and experimenting with swimming in a wetsuit and shoes! I am not used to competing with anyone but myself, so this race represents a significant number of firsts for me, and we are looking forward to it.”

There are 6 swim segments (totalling 3km) and 6 run segments (totalling 13km) and athletes will experience parts of the coastline not usually accessible to the public. Wetsuits and running shoes are kept on for the duration of the event as there are no transition zones; you simply get out of the water and run – until the next swim leg.

Alessandra Bayly and Christina Geromont were the first women to finish the inaugural Torpedo SwimRun event in January this year, and the tenth team across the line. Both are Llandudno Lifesavers and have entered the race again after thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Christina said: “It was great to experience parts of the coastline that I have never explored before. The race itself was very well thought out – there were demarcations everywhere to show athletes where to go, there were safety marshalls at every swim leg, and the food stops were also located at ideal places.”

Her advice for those considering entering: “Personally, I took comfort in knowing that I can run 13km and swim 3km. It is important that you are competent in the ocean – swimming 3km in the ocean is much harder than in the pool. Not only due to the currents, wave dynamics and different breathing style that are required, but also the tolerance to be able to swim in cold temperature. If you can handle that, this is an incredible experience you will enjoy.”

If you are reasonably fit, can run 13kms and swim 3kms in open water – consider taking up the challenge and joining us on 19 November. It’s #wildlycool so find your partner and enter now… www.torpedoswimrun.com

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