Courtesy: Thom James
The 13th of July saw the third episode of the ever-growing Tenfoot Swim take place in Pembrokeshire, home of Wales’ toughest sea swim, according to those who have done it before, and also where the event organizers debuted the new Swim/Run event.
The breezy Saturday morning brought the Swim and Swim/Run with 225 swimmers and 75 Swim/Runners respectively entered; the traditional 5km straight sea swim this year joined by a grueling 10k Swim/Run which is believed to be a first of its kind in the local area.
The 75 swim-runners were set off at 14:45pm from the Prince Albert statue on top of Castle Hill with the 225 swimmers starting minutes later from North Beach, in the iconic seaside town of Tenby, which is also home to the infamous Ironman Wales event.
The swim runners entered the water at North beach, Tenby closely followed by the regular TenFoot Swimmers, whilst the Swimmers headed straight to Monkstone beach the Swim/Run exited the water at Waterwynch.
For the Swim/Run the course then took them up to New Hedges and then back through a water station at Trevayne Farm before heading down to Monkstone beach where they would meet up with the swimmers and were all checked by a medical team.
The Swim – followed by the Swim/Run – then returned to the water with the Swim again going direct to Saundersfoot but the Swim/Run exiting the water again for another run stage at Swallow Tree where they were again checked by a medical team before another run through the woods before it was back in the water at the Glen beach.
At the Glen beach, it was again back in the water where they rejoined the swimmers to make the last leg round to Saundersfoot. A fantastic atmosphere awaited all participants and spectators were fully informed throughout by the brilliant commentary of Kevin Lloyd.
First swimmer home was Jake Plumbley of Pontypool and the inaugural Swim/Run saw Andrew Wallace of Pembroke Dock lead the field in. All participants received a great ovation before receiving their medals.
Many referred to the challenging conditions especially at the Monkstone Point area and praise quickly turned to the safety support crew.
The organizers commented “You can’t run an event like this without the commitment and dedication of all the kayakers, paddleboarders, marshals, water safety and medical teams. There were an incredible 76 kayakers and paddle boarders registered on the day by our water safety team and 32 boats or ribs which supported the event.”
“Our thanks go out to Tenby Surf Link, Pembroke Paddlers, RNLI, both Tenby and Saundersfoot Sailing clubs as well as Narberth Netball who supplied teams for marshaling. While we congratulate the volunteers, we must not forget the amazing sponsors we have who without the event simply wouldn’t happen, so thanks also to FBM Holidays for being our main sponsor, and to all other sponsors who basically paid for the cost of all supplies to allow us to donate all of the entries fees to good causes, and raise in excess of £20,000.00 for two amazing charities.”