EPICBLUE captures the passion and consideration for the ocean that is core to the ethos of the renowned adventure group, Meridian Adventure, and empowers leading swim-runners to race for a cause whilst pushing their limits of human endurance.
Sean Galleymore, founder of the group, Meridian Adventure, noted: “Meridian Adventure is honoured to have structured a partnership that uses EPICBLUE SWIMRUNS to support visibility and engagement for Plastic Oceans – an international non-proﬁt organisation raising awareness about plastic pollution to inspire behavioural change.”
The event was held on Sunday 27 September 2020 on Italy’s Ligurian coast, bringing the rapidly growing sport of swimrun to this exceptional setting, and offered two awe-inspiring courses to choose from.
The LONG ENDURANCE with a total distance of 23,4km and the SHORT EXPERIENCE with a distance of 13,4km only. Athletes could choose to race in teams of two or in the SOLO category which, Meridian Adventure Race has opened this year for the LONG ENDURANCE distance as well as the SHORT EXPERIENCE.
The EPICBLUE SWIMRUN Finale Ligure race is the first event of this three-part endurance series that promises to not only grant the adventurous-at-heart the opportunity to explore their personal limits but also to discover new destinations. This first-of-its-kind multisport challenge invites you to encounter three of the most amazing outdoor sites in the world: Finale Ligure, Italy (27 September 2020); the remote location of Waisai, Raja Ampat Indonesia (10 June 2021) and the historic villages of Izmir, Sığacık and Seferihisar, Turkey (24 July 2021).
With the numerous challenges faced during the year of 2020 regarding international travel and COVID-19, the event looked slightly different than the year before. With a limited number of participants allowed, social distancing, intense safety regulations and athletes being required to wear masks when entering crowded areas – EPICBLUE Finale Ligure followed the standard of the ‘NEW NORMAL’ with great success and energy.
EPICBLUE LONG ENDURANCE, the main course, was 23.4 km in total, with a mix of open water swimming and spectacular trail running, between Finale Ligure, Varigotti, Noli and back. These locations represent three iconic villages of the North West Riviera. The athletes battled for 6 coveted slots in the EPICBLUE Turkey event (last leg of the series), which will be held in 2021.
Hugo Tormento and Matthieu Poullain took 1st place with a time of 02:58:23 followed by the female/male team Christel Robin and Renaud Cadière, coming in at 03:21:31. In the SOLO Category, the winner from last year Romain Cadière came 1st in 3:22:43 (3rd overall) and Dietre Annabelle was the 1st female with 03:24:08. The EPICBLUE’s very own ambassador team – Annika Eriksson and Kristin Larsson, arrived from Sweden for the second consecutive year and crossed the finish line again in first position in the Women Category (5th Overall) with 03:41:17.
The EPICBLUE SHORT EXPERIENCE course was specifically created for those who want a less tough experience. With a total distance of 13.4 km, including 5 swim sessions.
Daru Benoit crossed the finish line 1st as a SOLO participant with a time of 02:06:49 followed by the male/female duo Pierrick Solerieu and Adele Blanchetiere with a few minutes later at 02:09:13. Laurène Cucchi and Irina Kondratieva crossed the finish line 1st in the Women Team category with a time of 2:33:21 and Federica Cerutti as a SOLO Women with 2:35:40.
“This year has represented a different type of challenge for us. One that made us rethink the way we do things. Thank you so much to each and every one who joined us as participants, sponsors and spectators.” – Matteo Testa, EPICBLUE Race Director.