Tales from the Trails - Ross Robertson
Ross Robertson (pictured on the right) is a co-founder of Perth-based Shoreline SwimRun and is looking forward to taking his organiser cap off when he competes in the Trans Cape SwimRun on March 8th. Here’s Ross’s SwimRun story …
What was your introduction to SwimRun and why were you attracted to it?
I first saw a glimpse of SwimRun in 2016 when a good friend Paul Newsome was training for his first ever SwimRun over on the Isles of Scilly. We were doing some river swims as the water was getting cooler and he would meet us by running from his place down to Claremont Jetty kitted up in some strange looking gear, testing out different shoes, pullbuoys, paddles etc. I remember being very intrigued but at the time with Paul swimming with shoes on meant I could actually keep up with him for a change so I gave away the thought of swimming in them! Later that year I started dabbling and testing and trying out a few sessions on my own, before hearing that the guys from SwimRun WA (Rottnest SwimRun) were putting on an event there. I wrote myself a training plan and I never looked back from there! From the training alone I was hooked!
The freedom of sessions and being able to simultaneously explore as you go, not being limited or restricted to distances were I think the biggest most attractive thing for me.
You’ve gone a big step further by establishing the Shoreline SwimRun series. What compelled you to do that?
After completing the Rottnest SwimRun event I was hungry to do more events. What I found was that although Europe seemed to have a steady stream of events throughout the season, Australia really only had two (one over on the east coast and Rottnest). I wanted to help bring the sport into more mainstream popularity in WA so people could discover it and enjoy it just like I did, along with providing more events for the smaller group of people who had already discovered and loved SwimRun. So we set about making a series that would be accessible and local for people to try out SwimRun in and around the Perth area. One of my key enjoyment factors was being able to SwimRun whilst exploring some of our exceptional shorelines along our coastline, which is where the Shoreline name was born.
What experience are you wanting to create for participants in your events?
Our primary focus is getting people to give SwimRun a try in WA because I still believe anyone who gives it a go will enjoy it just as I have! We really want to provide a safe and fun environment for people to come out, have fun and give it a go, all the while showcasing some of our amazing Perth shorelines that I think often get overlooked when you live here! We also like the idea of working with each other in the SwimRun community, supporting the bigger WA based events such as Trans Cape and Rottnest, by providing a race in Perth to practice your race skills on before giving their chosen destination race a go.
Our main events are somewhere between 16-24km in length, which is considered to be more a Sprint distance in the SwimRun world. But as those distances can still seem quite daunting to people just coming into the sport, this year we have released Enticer distances where the total course length will be 9-12km long and you can participate in the Enticer on your own or as a team, so you can try it out and see if you like it before giving the longer distance a go.
The Trans Cape is an opportunity for you to participate not organise. What are you looking forward to about the day?
After organising a few events now, I’m really looking forward to having you guys take the worry of event operations over so I can kick back and enjoy the race!! I absolutely love the idea of a SwimRun down south, I think the location and area is just absolutely perfect for it, so I’m genuinely excited to see firsthand the brilliant course you guys have designed for us. I’ll just have to remember it is a race and not to slow down too much to enjoy the spectacular views and scenery!
Trails, rock hopping, beach or road? Which terrain are you likely to enjoy the most in the Trans Cape?
I love the more technical trails and rock hopping along the coastline down there. It is something we don’t get to experience too much of in the Perth events so I’m looking forward to it.
Favourite song to be played when you cross the line at the Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club?
Ooh this is a tough question! I’m a bit of a Rock/ Metal fan so maybe something from ACDC -Highway to Hell ! Or even some really old school Metallica – Hit The Lights!
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