Breca Swimrun brings the emerging sport of swimrun to New Zealand for the first time with a new race on 25th March 2017: Breca Wanaka.

Set in the heart of the Southern Lakes District against the awesome backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park, this race is not for the faint-hearted. Teams will pit themselves against technical trails and deep glacial waters to stake their claim forever as the intrepid pioneers of the New Zealand swimrun scene.

Breca WanakaBreca Wanaka
(Photo: Breca Swimrun; click to enlarge)

As the pioneer edition, the organisers are limiting entries this year this year to just 50 teams of two, and are offering a reduced price of NZ$220 per person for the full course and NZ$150 per person for the sprint.


  • Full: Total Length: 42km | Run: 36km | Swim: 6km | Transitions: 16
  • Sprint: Total Length: 17km | Run: 13km | Swim: 4km | Transitions: 10

History Of Swimrun

In 2002, two teams challenged each other to run and swim 75km over 26 islands on the Stockholm archipelago. The rules were simple: the last team had to drink and pay for the rounds at the bars lining the route. The race that resulted – the Ötillö (Swedish for Island-to-Island) – has become the World Championship of swimrun racing.

Swimrun is now one of the fastest-growing endurance sports in the world. It attracts the world’s best adventure racers, triathletes, runners and swimmers, including a growing number of Kiwi athletes. Breca Swimrun is proud to bring swimrun to New Zealand for the first time with Breca Wanaka.

Breca WanakaBreca Wanaka
(Photo: Breca Swimrun; click to enlarge)

About Swimrun

Swimrun is a team sport. Participants compete in pairs and must stay together at all times. Races have multiple swimming and running stages over spectacular and varied terrain, without stopping in between.

There is no need for expensive equipment – a wetsuit, goggles and trainers are all that are required. The wetsuits used are essentially triathlon wetsuits but with short legs to free the knee joint when running. There are Swimrun specific suits on the market with pre-cut legs and built in pockets; or, you can cut down a triathlon wetsuit (it's best to do this with an old or second-hand suit).

Swimrunners also use pull buoys, paddles and tow ropes when competing, but these are not obligatory. Pull buoys help counteract the weight of the trainers in the water and allow you to save your legs during the swims. Paddles add extra power to your stroke – this is particularly useful when swimming in places subject to currents and tides. Tow ropes help you and your partner stay together in the water and assist with drafting.

“Wanaka is the natural place for us to launch swimrun in New Zealand” says Ben de Rivaz, founder of Breca Swimrun. “It has everything we look for in a Breca course - it’s an extraordinary landscape, with beautiful swimming and outstanding trails. I couldn’t think of a better place to become the home of New Zealand swimrun.”

Breca WanakaBreca Wanaka
(Photo: Breca Swimrun; click to enlarge)