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Welland SwimRun Challenge


Open Water Swim

Calling all SwimRun enthusiasts and open water swimmers. Come on out to the Welland Canal for a great multi-race event. Located at the PenFinancial Credit Union Flatwater Community Centre, this day will be one of fun and excitement as participants Swim and run, or just swim in this unique part of the canal.

Event 1

Welland Canal SwimRun Challenge

Total Distances: 8k

For those interested in trying a SwimRun Challenge but are looking for a shorter distance, come on out and give SwimRun a try with this unique 8 k event. With 3k of swimming and 5k of running, this is a great way to try this new and exciting event

  • Course: The course will start at the Welland Canal Community Centre, winding through the area with a variety of Swims and runs, and ending up at the community centre area.  
  • Here are the various stages of the SwimRun. Note that we have revised the course as of September 1.  Please refer to the map below.
Basic Details - Using the Blue squares and circles as reference points, the start is in the 1 - Middle position at the community centre. North is 2 and south is 3

1 - Swim 1,500 meters - South along swim course to start line
2 - Run 2,500 a full loop of the run course, going north first and around to the south loop ending at the start area
3 - Swim - 200 Meters North along canal to small dock north of community centre
4. 2,500 Meter run - full loop going south first then north to the top of the loop ending at the start line
5. Swim - 1, 500 Meters - From start line, north around course to finish line at the community centre.


Event 2
Welland Canal Open Water Swim

Loving the sport of Open Water Swimming? Come on out and be the first to try this new 2.5K swim course. Distances are 2.5K and 5K. So, come and join us for a great day

Registration fees

2.5K Swim Closed

  1. $50.00
    Mar 6 - Sep 7

5.0 K Swim Closed

  1. $50.00
    Mar 6 - Sep 7

SwimRun Challenge Closed

Registration closed
  • The Welland SwimRun Challenge is a shorter version of our previous race held in Sudbury with a series of short Swims and Runs making this a fast exciting event.

    1. $65.00
      Mar 6 – Apr 30
    2. $75.00
      May 1 – Sep 7

Swim course / Run course travel in and along the canal

Race Info

Location: 108 Thorold Road East, Welland, ON (PenFinancial Credit Union Flatwater Community Centre)

Check-in: At the Community Centre

Facilities & Food:

Race Details:

  • Swim caps will be provided for each swimmer and MUST BE WORN for identification purposes during the race
  • A number will be inked on upper back/shoulder of each participant
  • Water temperature at this time of year ranges between 68 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • There will not be a "rain date" and a delay (or cancellation) would only occur in the event of lightning
  • NOTE: All swims will be in the Welland Canal, and running  will be along trails that are adjacent to the canal

SwimRun Characteristics

Here are a few basics that you need to know about participating in a SwimRun challenge

While SwimRun events can range in distances and terrain covered, the following features tend to be common throughout:

  • Multiple legs, whereby the athletes alternate being swimming and running numerous times
  • Unpredictability.  A key feature not just in the leg variations, but also on a year-to-year basis.  Part of the challenge is concurring the course no matter what conditions are present.
  • Fewer regulations when compared to ITU or IM events (triathlon)
  • Swimming aids (Paddles, fins, pull buoys and wetsuits) are permitting, but must be worn/carried during the run.  Likewise, running shoes must be worn or carried during the swim.  This juxtaposition of events lends much to the conflict of strategy faced by participants


Wearing of wetsuits is optional for most SwimRun Challenge events. For those who prefer to wear a wetsuit you don’t need to have a SwimRun specific model to take part – any swimming (Tri) wetsuit will do so long as you can move freely enough in it to run and it will keep you warm enough on long swims.


The shoes you wear for SwimRun not only need to be comfortable for the long distances of technical trail running that you’ll be doing in your race but also need to be suitable for use in the water. Make sure they are a snug fit so they don’t come off when swimming and that they don’t soak up much water and drain well. Running with wet shoes on slippery rocks requires good traction so Good grip soles are essential!

 Swim cap

In many SwimRun competitions the organizer provides a swimming cap (we will be providing Canaqua Sports swim caps). These are mandatory for all participants



Goggles are essential to avoid getting water in your eyes. You will need to have clear vision for sighting in open water. Cold water can also be quite uncomfortable on the face and eyes so covering up helps a lot! Goggles come in all shapes and sizes so try lots on and select a pair that fits your face well. Test them well in open water before hand – there is nothing more irritating than leaky goggles! It might be worth having a couple of pairs at the ready with different lenses. On dull days clear lenses will be best but on bright sunny days a tinted or polarised pair will help stop glare from the water. Some participants carry a second pair of spare goggles incase they lose them whilst running. Think about how you are going to carry them if you take them off your head to run.

 Hand paddles

Many people use hand paddles for SwimRun. These add some extra power to your strokes by increasing the ‘catch’ are of your hand. There are many different types of paddles on the market, but you’ll need some that have straps to hold it on your hand or they can easily come off and be lost in open water. You’ll also need to think about how you are going to carry them on your runs and practice your transitions – getting out on rocky ground is hard when your have paddles on your hands!

 If you decide to use paddles you must train with them a lot! Using paddles takes good technique and puts a lot of strain on your shoulders and back muscles. You need to build up the strength to be able to use them over long distances. If you don’t you will soon find you get very tired and worse you can injure yourself!

 Pull buoy

SwimRun rules state that you can use any flotation aids so long as they are no bigger than 100 cm x 60 cm! Most people use a pull buoy.This float, which you hold between your legs instead of kicking, gives you extra buoyancy and allows you to save your legs during the swims. You’ll appreciate this when it is time to run! Using a pull buoy is generally why people decide to use the hand paddles as the extra propulsion makes up for the loss of the power from the kick. Pull buoys come in different shapes and sizes – what you use depends really on how much lift you need in your legs. For example, if you have a short wetsuit and heavy trainers you’ll need a bigger float.

Event Schedule

  • September 9 7:30 AM EDT - Onsite Registration and check-in

  • September 9 8:30 AM EDT - Mandatory Race Briefing

  • September 9 9:00 AM EDT - Welland SwimRun Challenge and Open Water Swim Start TIme

Contact Information

Event Location

Welland Recreational Waterway, Welland, ON

Click here to view map