About SwimRun NC

The SwimRun NC at Hanging Rock is the concept of Jan Kriska and Jeff Beckelhimer, two passionate endurance athletes who reside very close to this stunning part of nature, and have spent countless times running or swimming there. They invited Herbert Krabel to join them as he shares that unique event passion. Kriska, Krabel and Beckelhimer have participated in endurance events all over the globe and Beckelhimer is also a smart and experienced race event director. Kriska, Krabel and Beckelhimer now want to bring other endurance folks to North Carolina to experience the magic of the Hanging Rock State Park and the adjacent Dan River.

So on October 28th, 2018 you can enjoy the magic and challenge of about 14 miles of running and 3k of swimming broken up into 11 runs and 9 swims, plus a lot of elevation gain for some added fun. But this is race for very experienced and fit endurance athletes and should not be taken lightly. The 2018 event will be the third edition.


SwimRun NC event schedule

The Green Heron Ale House in Danbury, NC will be the site for the start and finish, package pickup and all related activities. The proper address is

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

2-4:15pm Race package pickup at Green Heron Ale House

4:15pm Mandatory race meeting at Green Heron Ale House.

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

8am Race start at Green Heron Ale House

2pm Awards at Green Heron Ale House


SwimRun explained.

SwimRun is a unique and fast growing sport that is driven by passionate folks who enjoy being challenged by nature and being close to it. Most of these SwimRun events take place in Northern Europe where there are now around 100 such races, and all of them have their own distinctive flavor, with race distances also varying greatly from event to event. The land and water dictates the race distance and the segments, it does not go the other way around.

It all began in Sweden in 2002 with a bet and has turned into the now famous and very tough Island to Island (ÖTILLÖ) race, where teams of 2 (dependent on each other) run across an island, swim to the next one, run across that island, and swim again etc etc. ÖTILLÖ is now the World Championship event with 65km of running and 10km of swimming spread out over 20 islands. Among the North American events that are inspired by ÖTILLÖ and are currently serving as ÖTILLÖ merit events – the Casco Bay SwimRun USA race in Maine and our SwimRun NC at Hanging Rock, NC.



Rules, common sense and registration

SwimRun races are team events with 2 athletes per starting team, and these teams can be either all male, all female or gender mixed. Athletes on the same team have to be within 10 meters of each other at all times, and they are allowed and encouraged to help each other.

Typically teams swim with the running shoes on their feet, and run while still wearing the wetsuits. With so many transitions in SwimRun events, it makes no sense to get undressed and dressed over and over again. Pull buoys, tethers and paddles are legal in these events, but when used must be carried from start to finish. Other equipment is mandatory and you can read the detailed rules and regulations below.


SwimRun NC Rules


A) SwimRun participants acknowledge and understand that a SwimRun endurance event is comprised of multiple and alternating transits of varied terrain and open water swims may present unique and unexpected hazards outside the control of race organizers, local governments and private property owners whose property the course may utilize. All participants are required to execute a Participant Waiver and Assumption of Risk prior to competing in the SwimRun NC event.


A) The race course will consist of alternating trail running routes and swim legs in the lake at Hanging Rock State Park and the Dan River. The running routes will be marked at various points along the course, swim legs will be designated by markers at each entry and exit point.

B) Athletes may stray 3-5 feet from the main trail to pass other athletes or to avoid obstacles but any other deviation from the marked course shall be grounds for disqualification.


A) Mandatory equipment supplied by competitors must consist of:

– Wetsuits worn by all competitors covering at a minimum, the torso and upper half of thighs.
– 1 whistle per athlete
– 1 First Aid pressure (not compression) bandage per team that is packed waterproof

Failure to possess or use as required shall be grounds for disqualification.

B) Mandatory equipment supplied by race organizers

– Race bib to be worn visibly at all times by each team member. It can’t be hidden under the wetsuit or rolled up. .
– Swim cap to be worn during all swim legs

C) Recommended Gear (not required)

– Swim hand paddles/gloves
– Swim pull buoy
– Nutrition extras
– Tether between teammates for swim and/or running, but no longer than 12ft.


– Any flotation aid larger than 40” x 24”

E) All equipment listed at the pre-race check must accompany the teams at all times and be present for gear check at package pickup and possibly also at the finish. Failure to meet this condition will be grounds for disqualification.


A) Aid stations will be sited at various locations across the course for fluid replacement and nutrition. Special needs should be carried by the athletes as needed.
B) Medical personnel will be sited at the start/finish and at lake swim area. Toilet facilities are present at start/finish and at lake swim area.
C) Team members must remain together at all times throughout the event and cannot be more than 10 meters apart.
D) The race organization can refuse a team from continuing if they are judged to be incapable of competing safely due to fatigue or injury.
E) The race organization reserves the right to alter, shorten or otherwise change the course at any time as a consequence of weather or other unexpected course conditions beyond their control that may jeopardize the safety of athletes.


A) Throughout the course checkpoints will be established that must be reached by all teams. We have 2 cut-off times that teams need to reach in order to continue racing. This is meant for athlete safety and also in fairness to the volunteers on course.

Cut-off 1:  With the race clock at 2:15 hours teams who have not gone past the checkpoint at the lake after “Swim 4” will be pulled from the event.

Cut-off 2: With the race clock at 4:00 hours teams that are not yet back in the water for “Swim 5” after the technical Moore’s Wall loop will also be pulled from the race.

The decision by the race director at that time will be final and can’t be discussed, and the race organization may need to adjust such cut-off times based on conditions on race day.

B) A team that has abandoned the race shall report to the nearest checkpoint or race staff as soon as possible.


A) All athletes shall become familiar with, accept, and abide by, the race rules.
B) At all times, athletes shall be respectful of public and private property owners. Waste shall be disposed at designated aid stations ONLY. Toilet waste paper MUST be disposed of at designated aid stations, please carry appropriate supplies to conform to this provision. Failure to do so shall be cause for disqualification.
C) Athletes are participating with the full knowledge and acceptance of the risk of injury.
D) Athlete teams are REQUIRED to stop and offer aid, to the best of their ability, to fellow competitors in need, or as requested by race staff. Failure to do so will be grounds for disqualification without exception or recourse. This is the spirit of SwimRun that all competitors must abide by.
E) Athletes are required to attend a mandatory pre-race briefing in the afternoon prior to race day. Athletes failing to attend will not be permitted to race.


A) Participants agree to permit the race organization to utilize photographs, video or film images taken during the event for use in marketing, press accounts, or publicity in print or digital form over all mediums of transmission.


The entry into the 2018 SwimRun NC is initially only open to folks who raced in the 2017 SwimRun NC and qualified volunteers from the 2017 event. On December 1, 2018 we will open the general registration and during that time we screen all new applicants before we allow them to fully register. This is a very difficult event and we are thus very strict who we allow in. Applicants need to submit athletic details of the past 24 months with finish times and as many details as possible. Applicants ideally have reasonably fast and competent trail running and open water swimming experience and/or decent fast IRONMAN (sub 14:00 hours) or Half IRONMAN (sub 6:00 hours) or sub 2 hour road Half Marathon times to their name. The fee to fully register is $375 per team. Money that does not go back into the race* is used to buy items for the Hanging Rock State Park (in 2017 it was a fire fighting system for one of their ATVs) and or / give it to the state park system.

*The race directors take no money from the event, not even gas money.

Here is the video from the 2017 SwimRun NC

And below is the video from the 2016 SwimRun NC event

Race distances:

Run 1: Green Heron Ale House to Hanging Rock Lake - 4.5 miles
Swim 1: Hanging Rock Lake - 500 meters (aid station / check point)
Run 2: Northern lake trail - 0.3 miles
Swim 2: Cut across bay - 25 meters
Run 3: Traverse water fall - 0.2 miles
Swim 3: Hanging Rock Lake - 500 meters (aid station / check point)
Run 4: Northern lake trail - 0.3 miles
Swim 4: Cut across bay - 25 meters
Run 5: Traverse water fall and continue to Moore's Wall (w 642 steps) -  1.7 miles (small aid station / check point)
Run 6: Traverse of Moore's Wall and descent to lake - 2.2 miles
Swim 5: Hanging Rock Lake - 500 meters (aid station / check point)
Run 7: Northern lake trail - 0.3 miles
Swim 6:  Cut across bay - 25 meters
Run 8: Traverse water fall - 0.2 miles
Swim 7: Hanging Rock Lake - 500 meters (aid station / check point)
Run 9: Northern lake trail - 0.3 miles
Swim 8:  Cut across bay - 25 meters
Run 10: Traverse water fall and descend to Dan River - 4.7 miles
Swim 9: Rock walls to Green Heron Ale House - 800 meters 
Run 11: Stairs to finish - 50 yards 

Total running: 14.7 miles Total swimming 2,900 meters

Follow us on Twitter via @SwimRunNC

Follow us on Instagram via @SwimRunNC and on our Facebook page via @SwimRunNC.  Actually we update the Facebook page the most, so you should definitely follow us there.

The closest airport by the way is in Greensboro, NC (GSO) and Charlotte, NC (CLT) and Raleigh (RDU) are also options.