YK SwimRun 2024

We have reached capacity for this event, but if you were interested and already coordinated to find a partner to participate with, you can reach out to us at ykmultisport@gmail.com and we will see what we can do. Unfortunately, we do not have any more swim buoys for purchase.


Welcome to the first ever official YK SwimRun event!

For those that may not know a lot about swimrun, it’s a relatively new adventure type race that got its start in 2002 and is similar, and yet very different from traditional triathlon, duathlon or aquathlons. With those types of sports, there are direct transitions where you go from one event, transition to the next, transition to the third and then finish. Often, you’ll have the same transition point to return to, so you’re sort of doing and out and back routine while changing up the sport (swim-bike-run or run-bike-run or run-swim-run)

With swimrun, it’s a point A to point B adventure, with many transitions from swimming to running or running to swimming in between. Also, instead of transitioning from one event to another and changing out your entire kit, with swimrun, you run and swim with everything you need. 

If you’re curious and want to see a bit more, scroll down to the bottom and watch some of the swimrun videos. Then decide if you’re still up for a new type of challenge.

I can swim, but I don't open water swim

There are not a lot of regulations or rules when it comes to SwimRun. You can swim any way you want, and you can use a lot of aids if you’d like, such as paddles or a pull buoy to help keep your legs up. For this event, it is mandatory to swim with a swim-buoy, which is a floatation device with a belt around your waist to keep you afloat in emergencies and to keep you visible on the water. With all of this, if you can swim in a pool, you can certainly swim in the open water, because you can do whatever technique you want. Want to backstroke? Go for it! Want to breaststroke and keep your head above water the entire time? Go for it! The idea for this event and for all of Multisport’s events, is to have fun and try something new. This isn’t a race, it’s an adventure. During the trial event last summer, one participant was yelling “I want to do this every weekend!”.


The proposed course for this event is outlined below. The total running distance is approximately 8km with a total swimming distance of 1.9km


The course is broken down below.

A big shout out to Arctic Duchess Adventures, for being part of this year’s YK SwimRun. We’ll be heading towards the Duchess on Jolliffe island and launching into Yellowknife Bay from the dock.









-Start at the boat launch next to the government docks
-Swim to the northern tip of Jolliffe island (560m)
-Run across Jolliffe to the Arctic Duchess (500m)
-Jump off the Duchess and swim to Dog island (341m)
-Prance across Dog island (76m)
-Swim to the next island (118m)
-Dance across the island (32m)
-Swim to the next island (40m)
-Run across the island (100m)
-Swim to Rotary park (280m)
-Run up the hill by the Racquet Club to Niven drive (1.21km)


-Run to Fred Henne Territorial Park Day Use Area, via the Frame Lake trail, to the buoy line (4.67km)
-Swim the buoy line (180m)

-Trek along the rocks to the narrow valley to the other side (954m)
-Swim to the other side (80m)
-Run for 472m to get closest to the boat launch
-Swim to the boat launch (315m)


  1. You must run with all your gear. Everything you start with, you must have at the end of the event. If you are bringing swimming aids such as a pullbuoy or paddles, you need to secure them while running. 
  2. In swimrun, it’s an adventure, so when running and you reach the water, the idea is to just jump in. You would not be taking your shoes off and on again. Shoes with a lot of mesh and drainage are best. If you have an old pair of running shoes, you can drill holes in the bottom to increase drainage. Swimming in shoes creates a lot of drag, which is where the buoyancy of a wetsuit comes in. The same goes for the pullbuoy aid (to go between your legs). You will be swimming in areas which are not sandy beaches. There are rocks and slippery areas. Wearing shoes ensures you’re not stepping on anything sharp.
  3. You can use a pullbuoy if you’d like. This will go between your legs on the swims which will help keep your legs buoyant in the water even while swimming with shoes.
  4. A wetsuit is not mandatory for this event, but in many swimruns, at a certain water temperature it is required. If you will be wearing a wetsuit, you wear it on the runs. There are swimrun wetsuits designed for this sport, but it is possible to wear a full length wetsuit, which you just peel down the top on the longer runs. Surprisingly, there is little chaffing while running in a wetsuit. Go figure.
  5. You swimrun with a partner. You technically should be leashed together and cannot be farther than 10m from your partner. There are swimrun towropes to connect two people. This makes the event much more interesting and builds camaraderie. On the runs, if one person is stronger they pull the other and vice versa on the swim. For this event, we won’t be leashed together, but you should be participating together.
  6. If you wish to use swim paddles, it is highly recommended that you will have experience using them. It is quite dangerous to use paddles without training with them as it will really strain your shoulders.
  7. You MUST SWIM WITH A SWIM BUOY. A swim buoy is different than a pull buoy. One is to add buoyancy to your lower body while the other is a visibility and safety aid. (See below for images)
  8. You must wear a swimcap while on the water. This increases visibility for any boaters or otherwise on the water. In addition to the swim buoy, this will help with visibility.
  9. This event will not be timed, so if you’d like please use your own watch.
  10. Some snacks and refreshments will be available at the aid stations. 
  11. As this is a one way adventure race, you will need to provide your own transportation back from the finish line at Long Lake.
  12. Participants will be capped at 16, which is 8 teams of 2 racers each.

A pull buoy is used to add buoyancy to your lower body and is often used in training to strengthen your upper body.

A swim buoy is a floatation device used for both safety (if large enough) and for visibility on the open water.


-Swim Goggles
-Swim Cap
-Running Shoes
-Swim Buoy (a dry bag/floatation/visibility aid). We have 10 swim buoys available for purchase at $10 each.
-An adventurous spirit!


Register here on Zone4: https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=35890

Official swimrun events around the world

And this was our trial attempt at SwimRun in 2023. This  recap video is not nearly as incredible as those above.