23 OCTOBER 2016
The first edition of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes was launched today at the beautiful area Mecklenburger Seenplatte in north east Germany. This German qualifier for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship was probably ÖTILLÖ’s hardest race to date because of the very cold air and low water temperatures. The cold challenged the 300 competitors to push to their limits on the 45 km course of trail running and swimming.
The fastest team over the finish line was the strong athletes Pontus Lindberg and George Bjälkemo, Team Terrible Tuesdays Triathlon of Sweden, on the winning time of 4:42:02. They were closely followed by the impressive mixed team Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven, Team Say no to doping! (FIN), finishing 4:47:59. The first women’s team, Diane Sadick (SUI) and Fanny Danckwardt-Lillieström, Team Orca (SWE), crossed the finish line at 5:33:45.
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes is held at the Mecklenburge Seenplatte, an area with over 1000 lakes and dense mystical forests, a fairy tale landscape with great running trails and a perfect location for a swimrun event.
The cold temperatures were the biggest challenges at this first edition of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes. The fast running on the magical forest trails was not enough to warm up the competitors between the swims, as the air was cold and some of the lakes were not more than 10 degrees. The organisers redesigned the course during the day to have one less long swim to tackle in the cold weather. However, among the 150 competing teams of two from 21 different nations, some had a hard time handling the low temperatures and abandoned.
The overall winners, Swedes Pontus Lindberg and George Bjälkemo, were keeping a fast pace throughout the course staying in front for a big part of the day, closely chased by a good number of teams in the top group. “Our game plan was to get a gap on the runs, where we knew that we could accelerate. It was hard as our legs were so stiff from the cold but we managed!”, said a happy Bjälkemo at the finish.
The first mixed team, Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven of Finland, were always up there battling with the top group and completed a fantastic race finishing second overall, only five minutes after the leaders!
The first German team, Knut Baadshaug and Sebastian Kreder, spread the local pride by taking third in the men’s category.
”It was cold and long and tough. The swimming went well for us, the biggest problem today was the cold air”, said Knut Baadshaug. His partner Sebastian Kreder added: ”If we weren’t working so well as a team, we would never have been able to reach the finish today. We are quite equal, and the team has to fit well together for a challenge like this. It was a great race!”
Eight top teams at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes qualify to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2017, on 4 September 2017 in the Stockholm Archipelago; top 3 men, top 3 mixed, top 2 women.
Fast facts ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes 2016
- 1st edition
- At Mecklenburger Seenplatte / North East Germany
- 45 km running and swimming from dawn till dusk
- 35 km of trail running
- 10 km of open water swimming
- 22 changes between running and swimming
- The swims are between 330 and 1 500 metres long
- The runs are between 300 and 7 900 metres long
- Longest swim 1 500 metres
- Longest run 7 900 metres
- 183 registered teams
- 150 teams on the start line
- Teams of two; for safety reasons and for the unique experience
- 21 Nationalities: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czeck Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, HongKong, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden
- Winners ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes 2016:
Men/Overall: Pontus Lindberg and George Bjälkemo, Terrible Tuesdays Triathlon, SWE, 4:42:02
Mixed: Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven, Say no to doping!, FIN, 4:47:59
Women: Diane Sadick (SUI) and Fanny Danckwardt-Lillieström (SWE), Team Orca, 5:33:45
About Swimrun and ÖTILLÖ
Swimrun is the fast growing sport where you in teams of two alternate trail running and open water swimming on a marked course. There is no time to lose – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! It is a unique sport and experience as you always race with a partner and the race course is out in wild nature. The sport has grown hugely popular amongst endurance sport athletes, triathletes, trail runners, swimmers and nature lovers. ÖTILLÖ (meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original and the world’s longest swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world. You run and swim for 75 km over and between 26 islands in the Stockholm archipelago.
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