Thetis Lake in View Royal will host the inaugural SwimRun Victoria event this summer. (File photo)

Fast growing sport debuts at Thetis Lake this summer

Organizers promise a challenging course

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

What do you get when you cross two thirds of a triathlon with Thetis Lake?

You get SwimRun Victoria, a multi-sport race format that combines split segments of open-water swimming with trail runs, explained race director Rob Dibden. The event, sponsored by Human Powered Racing, will mark the first of its kind in Western Canada, he noted. SwimRun has been gaining popularity since the inaugural event, Otillo SwimRun, was held in Sweden in 2006.

“We started talking about hosting a SwimRun event when we became aware the format might work here,” said Dibden, a member and coach with the Human Powered Racing team for the past 13 years. “There’s a few people from Victoria who’ve done it before.”

SwimRun Victoria involves a challenging course consisting of four swim legs totalling about 4,000 metres, and four run legs totalling about 24 km. The short course is slightly less than half the length of the full course. Competitors swim in their running shoes and run in their swim gear, Dibden explained. Although many SwimRun events involve frigid ocean swims, the Victoria event, to be held at Thetis Lake, will not require specialized equipment. It should still present a challenge for even hardcore adventure seekers, he added.

“I think Thetis Lake will be a fantastic venue for this event,” said Dibden, a View Royal resident. “A lot of thought and preparation has gone into planning the course for a year, and we’re excited about it. People who come to compete will be surprised and pleased with the level of difficulty and terrain they’ll experience.”

SwimRun Victoria takes place Aug. 12. For more information, contact Dibden at or visit

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