It’s hard to believe that Marcus Barton started participating in big scale multi-sport, endurance events on a whim. The way he got into off-road triathlons happened in the most organic of instances, running a trail with a couple of pals and a conversation, led to an adventure seeking life for Barton. He recalls, “Late that day I did an online search and found one within a couple of hours from me. I started training and I competed in my first one the next year. I was instantly hooked.” His passion, determination and curiosity continue to direct him to new challenges, en route of conquering endurance events everywhere. Last year, Marcus caught wind of an Otillo style Swim-Run in Richmond, VA and pounced on the challenge of competing in SWIM-RUN-VA for its inaugural race this past October.
Heading into SWIM-RUN-VA, Marcus was already a veteran of endurance events. In fact, his first major event was an XTERRA event back in 2007. Since then, Marcus has participated in a wide-range of endurance races, racking up approximately 5 to 8 events under his belt per year. He’s participated in SwimRuns near and far, including Sweden, Norway, Maine, and North Carolina. Marcus is leaving his tracks and marking off accomplishments all over the planet.
Defending the Crown
The vast experience that Marcus had prior to SWIM-RUN-VA, 2016 was apparently very beneficial. He and his race partner, Keith Schumann, came in first place at Richmond’s first ever SwimRun event – posting a time of 3:26:42. It has already been confirmed that Marcus and Keith are returning October 21, 2017 to defend their crown in RVA. Barton feels good about his team, “We were a good pairing for the race and I really enjoyed racing with him.” The tandem are already developing ways to make their outing more successful, hoping to cut down their time on land and in the water. The word is out about SWIM-RUN-VA and more endurance athletes are registered to compete in the race this year. Marcus is well aware of the stiffer competition and frankly looking forward to the challenge.
SWIM-RUN-VA is Different
Marcus noticed distinct differences in SWIM-RUN-VA compared to the other SwimRuns that he’d competed in. The overall aspect of blending a course that embodies an urban feel and connects athletes to nature was definitely different from what Marcus was used to. He asserts that the swimming and use of the trails around Richmond makes it a very interesting race. Richmond was named “Best River Town in America” by Outside Magazine and the James River is beautiful yet complex. Marcus confesses that his primary challenge of the race is the River. There aren’t any cities across the country where you can kayak and raft class III and IV rapids in an urban setting. Marcus persists that “You’ve got to know your line and be prepared for sudden changes in current.” The James River park system is made up of a compilation of unique trails that touch urban Richmond. The switch between trail and pavement adds a different perspective from other SwimRuns.
Who’s the Next Marcus Barton?
What’s next for Marcus Barton? The question in detail is uncertain but from a broad perspective it’s rhetorical. It’s safe to say that Marcus will continue to be an ambassador of active living. He’s not showing any signs of slowing down in the multi-sport, endurance arena. His passion continues to steer his journey of conquering new adventures, globally. SWIM-RUN-VA will benefit from Marcus’ return to the event this year; his presence is an inspiration to all endurance thrill seekers on every level of their journey.