Our swims are always about the journey (the only race is with yourself) and what a journey this is! It’s taken us 7 years of looking to find a swim route that rivals the Dart 10k, and this is it.
Set in a North Wales on the edge of Snowdonia, this swim is the most beautiful we have ever found. It starts on the sandy beach of Barmouth, and takes swimmers underneath Barmouth Bridge, a mile and an iconic half wide railway bridge. The first part of the swim is up the wide and sandy estuary (hopefully with the wind behind us) with mountains on either side, and then it’s through ‘the narrows’ and into a more sheltered part of the estuary.
The whole swim takes place on a fast, incoming Spring tide that works like a bore to assist your swim. Past the narrows the water speeds up further, and the landscape becomes pastoral, the banks closer to you.
The swim ends at Penmaenpool, where we will get changed, gather for hot food and to warm up on fire pits, and celebrate.
The 11K run takes place at the same time as the swim, so at some point in the course you will see swimmers in the estuary beside you. The route will take you from Barmouth Beach, over the iconic Barmouth bridge then flanks the estuary all the way to Penmaenpool. Perfect for supporters who might not be water lovers but would like to get in on the action.
A 11K run followed by the 10K swim for those of you keen for a double challenge. You will be bused to Penmaenpool to join the Mawdacch Trail, run 11k to the swim start in Barmouth alongside the banks of the estuary and across the Barmouth Bridge, then swim back under it with the other swimmers on the incoming tide. This is a long run before a long swim: you can run in your running clothes, change and have a drink before setting off with the other swimmers (there will be a small time gap between the two events giving time for this to happen, and swimmers to depart together).
A long run before a long swim requires good nutrition! The founder of weswimrun.org, Mike Alexander, offers advice in ‘Survive’ so you don’t let running cramp your style. Please read!
If you or your supporters would like to be part of the Hurly Burly team please get in touch, from run marshals to registration, tea makers to time keepers, these events would not happen without you!
By joining the #OSSteam the rewards include free meals, merchandise, and guaranteed early-bird access to event tickets for the following year. If you or your supporters would like to be involved, please read this Hurly Burly Volunteer Factsheet – we look forward to hearing from you.
Contact email@example.com to join the event as a volunteer.
Skin swimmers are welcome at the Hurly Burly by application. If you swam in skins in 2018 you do not have to re apply in 2019.
Permission is granted on the basis of prior proven experience of swims of this length and temperature, whether undertaken personally or as part of an event, and on the basis of current training. In granting permission to swim in skins, we are looking for evidence of similar prior experience and/or a recent monitored two hour swim in similar temperature water. Please note that non-wetsuit permission cannot be guaranteed at entry because it depends on current training. Tickets are therefore sold as “wetsuits compulsory”. Non-wetsuit application forms are found in your ticket confirmation email and must be returned by 10th August. We then consider your application within a week and communicate our decision back to all applicants.
Not all applications are permitted, and if yours is rejected you will need to swim in a wetsuit. Why? To keep you safe. Only those who have undergone a steady and committed programme of acclimatisation will be able to do a swim of this length in skins. Because safety cover is shared, rather than one to one, the Hurly Burly is not the place to test out your endurance to cold for the first time. If you are not given permission you will need to swim in a wetsuit or transfer your ticket to another swimmer ending on 31 July. If you do not have your wetsuit on or permission for a skin-swim granted in advance, you will not be able to swim.
The Hurly Burly is a wetsuit event. All swimmers are to wear a full length, ankle-to-wrist neoprene swimming wetsuit unless permission has been been sought and granted by the events team before 10th August (see skins, above). If you want to wear any variation of a full length, ankle-to-wrist neoprene swimming wetsuit (eg no arms, short legs) then please apply to the event manager using the skins form stating your current training in this suit. Please do not attempt a 10k in a surf wetsuit – the drag, buoyancy and comparative lack of flexibility will make your life unnecessarily difficult.
Most people swim front crawl, the wind and tide will make for some choppy conditions so we suggest that breaststroke is probably not a great idea on this swim.
We welcome and can generally accommodate swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim/run. It is essential that those with disabilities, or any concern about their ability to take part in this event, should seek their doctor’s advice before taking part. Those with physical disabilities who would like to swim or run should email the event manager prior to registration, and will be accommodated within the existing safety provision wherever possible (no separate arrangements can be made).
OSS events are tow-float free. We have ample safety cover who watch swimmers via their brightly coloured hats. Tow floats makes sighting swimmers harder, by doubling the number of brightly coloured objects in the water, and may entangle other swimmers. It is sometimes stated that tow floats make retrieving an unconscious swimmer easier, however they are not tested or rated to act as a safety device in this way.
Snorkels and fins are not permitted as the hard edges risk injuring other swimmers at the swim start in particular. Most swimmers with personal medication tuck it up the sleeve of their wetsuit. If this doesn’t cover your needs and you want to use a tow float for the purpose please contact the event manager.
The Hurly Burly could not take place without the positive response from the local community and council.
Particular thanks go to Merioneth Yacht Club, Snowdonia National Parks, The George 3rd Hotel, Barry and Susan Brightmore, Richard and Pat Owen, and Gail Hall.
SUPPORT GREAT CAUSES
Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none). In 2018 our primary charity partner is Level Water
Level Water is a young and fast growing charity who’s fortunes were changed overnight by involvement in the Dart10k. The charity provides one-to-one swimming lessons for disabled children across the country. “We teach them the basics then help them to join mainstream lessons and competitive clubs.