Summerside swimmer to compete in 'quirky' sport in Italy

·2 min read
Meghan Colvin-Daley is the aquatics manager at Credit Union Place in Summerside, and a lifelong competitive swimmer. (Andrew Daley - image credit)
Meghan Colvin-Daley is the aquatics manager at Credit Union Place in Summerside, and a lifelong competitive swimmer. (Andrew Daley - image credit)

And Island swimmer is about to undertake the race of a lifetime in Italy in what she calls a "quirky sport."

Meghan Colvin-Daley is the aquatics manager at Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I., and has been a competitive swimmer for 30 years. She's also a part-time paramedic.

"The race in Italy, you're basically island-hopping, so you would swim from one island to the other, run along the beach and move to the next one," Colvin-Daley told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

Swim-running is a sport in which participants switch back and forth between swimming and running several times on the course. It is different from triathlon in that athletes keep their swimming gear and running shoes on the whole time, while triathlons have transition zones between separate sections, and do portions of the course on bicycles as well.

The course in Italy is 27.1 kilometres long, and consists of 5.35 kilometres of swimming and 21.75 kilometres of running. There will be 275 athletes participating in the Sept. 18 race.

'I got really into that'

In the last few years, Colvin-Daley didn't open-water swim much, but when COVID-19 hit in 2020, indoor pools closed.

Submitted by Meghan Colvin-Daley
Submitted by Meghan Colvin-Daley

That meant if she wanted to swim, it would have to be open water. She ordered winter wetsuit gear and started swimming on a river near her house.

Then she discovered the sport of swim-running.

The main rule is, whatever you start with, you have to finish with, so you carry all your gear.  — Meghan Colvin-Daley

"I had never done swim-running until my husband stumbled across a video, and all of a sudden I had time and no pool swimming to do, so I got really into that," she said.

"The main rule is, whatever you start with, you have to finish with, so you carry all your gear… You're wearing your wetsuit when you're running and you're wearing your running shoes when you're swimming, because you jump back and forth all the time."

She said she thought running in wet gear might be uncomfortable, but she hasn't even had a blister.

Sharing swim-running with others

Then she discovered a Canadian organization called Mudskipper which organizes swim-running. The organization has covered her registration fee for the Italian event and two nights of accommodation around the race date. She and her husband will make a longer trip out of it.

Now, she has started sharing her new sport with others.

A couple of weeks ago, Colvin-Daley helped organize an event to share swim-running with other Islanders. The course they ran was 17.5 kilometres of swimming and running.

They ran along the Summerside boardwalk, then swam across the harbour to Bedeque, where they landed and ran along the shore before swimming to an island where they ran some more, before swimming back to Bedeque.