A huge part of the swimrun ethos, as developed by our sport’s founders, is respecting our natural environment; Söuthsea Swimrun is wholeheartedly behind this philosophy. We believe we have a responsibility for our swimrun playground, to ensure we do no harm, and leave no trace as we enjoy our sport.
This page aims to provide advice and information to enable us all to be responsible swimrunners and will be a growing resource.
So, what can we do?
Let’s keep it simple for now: do no harm and leave no trace. Be aware of where you’re swimrunning, look out for local wildlife, and make sure you take away everything you bring with you.
Think about eco-conscious kit choices. Wetsuit producers and trainer brands have become much more aware of their environmental impact in recent years. Make good choices and think about what happens with your suit or shoes when you are done with them. Keep an eye out for brands and organisations with recycling schemes or those that use more eco-friendly materials. gofreediving.com have loads of suggestions for what to do with your old wetsuits.
Look at eco-friendly products to protect the health of our seas. We all need anti-chafing lube and sunscreen products if we want to avoid embarrassing welts and painful sunburn, so opt for brands that do no harm. An eco-friendly anti-chafing brand we’ve found is Ocean Lube, “Ethically made with the environment in mind.”
If, like me, you’ve been involved in swimming for a few years now, then chances are you have a lot of extra swim hats and old goggles lying around your kit store. Rather than throwing them in the bin, you can recycle them. Send them to the outdoor swimming shop Sea & Stream and they’ll give you 10% off your next purchase.
And you can put that 10% discount to a laundry bag, which will stop those nasty microfibers that are lost when you wash synthetic garments from being released into our waterways.
Get involved with local beach cleans (when Covid allows). Surfers Against Sewage, the Marine Conservation Society and local environmental organisations, like Final Straw Solent, often hosted clean-ups before coronavirus and I’m sure they will again. In the meantime, when you are down at the beach aim to bin at least three pieces of plastic. For your own safety, unless you have gloves on or ready access to hand sanitizer, look for things that have obviously been washed up onto the shore, like fishing twine.
Support your local events, and when I say local, I mean UK based. Sadly we’re not currently blessed with swimrun events around every corner. When allowed by the government guidelines, share cars with your club mates to reduce your environmental footprint. Being a club member also gives you some great race discounts, so get involved and get racing.
When attending events abroad, especially Ötillö, do their beach cleans, they often have an event over the race weekend to give something back to the local community. You’ll feel good about playing your part, I promise.
That’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with an extensive guide on how you can be an environmentally responsible swimmer, by Chloë over at Love SwimRun.