Eight years ago, I was still a keen smoker. From having never run more than 10km, I went to finishing the Swimrun World Championships. This is the story of a dream came true.
You all know that moment, that split second when you realise that something has happened, something that will change your day and maybe even your life. You scream out of pain, physical pain, emotional pain, and you know it’s finished. You see it. You feel it, and your brain registers the fact that ÖTILLÖ is over for you before it really got going.
Annika Åstrom, 53, has completed nine ÖTILLÖ World Championships. In her first year there were only 10 women at the start but soon “we will be the majority”.
The 48km Troll Enez Morbihan “swim and run” in France crosses the Gulf of Morbihan, which is ranked amongst one of the most beautiful bay’s in the world. The race follows the coastal paths with swim sections up to 1500m while the running parts range from 100m to 17km.
Sean Casey and Mitch McTough are both aid workers in Iraq working on the humanitarian response around the offensive against ISIS and the large-scale displacements the terrorist group has caused. They have teamed up for ÖTILLÖ 1000 Lakes in Germany on October 1. Their biggest challenge? Training in a 16-metre basement pool and running in 40-50°C (104-122°F) temps.
In 2016, Lelle Moberg and teammate Daniel Hansson smashed the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship course record crossing the finish line under 8 hours. This year, Lelle will be racing in spirit only as he cheers from the sidelines recovering from an injury.
Daniel Hansson and his teammate Lelle Moberg smoked the 2016 ÖTILLÖ World Championship and set a new course record of sub 8-hours. Can he do it again next week with Jesper Svensson?
The ferry ride. As a kid in the Seventies, a ferry ride meant an adventure – water, waves, fun, and freedom to run around, watching the mainland disappear into the horizon. You were leaving the crowded city with its big boring buildings for fresh air on a spacious island, where nature was beckoning to be explored, insects inspected, and tree roots to be tripped on.
It has been a whirlwind of a season.At ÖTILLÖ Utö, most of the teams were terrified of the cold water. In fact, almost everyone baked. At ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly, the Atlantic Ocean was like a swimming pool and who will ever forget the last night outside the pub, hanging on the sea wall and watching the sunset together? At ÖTILLÖ Engadin, a mega thunderstorm in the middle of the race clearly showed us all that nature will never be tamed. We now have a couple of weeks to prepare for the 2017 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship. At this point, it’s safe to say that …
One of Sweden’s most recognised triathletes, Jonas Colting is the only person to compete in every single ÖTILLÖ World Championship race since its inception in 2006. Colting, who promotes swim safety as a way of integrating refugees and immigrants in Sweden, just finished a 300km swim in the Baltic Sea to raise awareness about the need for public swimming pools in the country.
Living in a small Mexican town like Cordoba, 300 km southeast of Mexico City, training was a hit and miss for us at the beginning. We tried everything, from a triathlon camp in the US to an 18,000-foot volcano. And running in a wetsuit at 35°C was no fun either. Nothing quite worked for us, until we discovered Lake Alchichica, only three hours away. The only problem was no one dared to swim there because it was bewitched.
The trick to prerace hydration is knowing that you cannot simply drink loads and loads of water in the final few days (as many athletes try to do) and store it away for future use. All that drinking lots of extra water does is to increase the amount you need to pee and it can actually be very counter productive if this leads to dilution of the electrolyte levels in your blood.
André Hook first heard of swimrun almost four years ago, when a triathlon friend sent him the link to the video of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2013. Four years later, an avid swimrunner, André has written a free e-guide for CAMPZ.
In the summer of 2014, Simon Börjeson and Rasmus Regnstrand were driving across Norway, discussing swimrun training plans. Rasmus suggested that they make an adventure out of it, and Simon, who happened to have a map of Scandinavia on his knee, saw something that grabbed his attention: “Let’s swimrun across Åland Archipelago.”
Before the start of Utö in May, 20 athletes swallowed a pill that would register the effects of cold-water swimming on their bodies. The data was then downloaded for research. Jørgen Melau talks to Nancy Heslin about his project.
Eva Nystrom is an accomplished athlete, winning the long-distance duathlon World Cup twice and competing in Ironman Hawaii. Swimrun was a natural transition, and four months after giving birth, she won the ÖTILLÖ World Championship for Mixed Team in 8:49:58.
Adriel Young has the distinction of being the only non-Swede on the ÖTILLÖ World Championship podium, after winning the 2016 Mixed Team category with Eva Nystrom in 8:49:58. The Australian triathlete may have relocated to Gothenburg but he also launched the first swimrun Down Under last year.
“Epic”. “Together”. “Cake”. These are the words that sum up Vivobarefoot’s office challenge at ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly in June, when the company sent six teams swimrunning for the weekend.
Kristin Larsson checked into her hotel in Les Salles-sur Verdon. When the receptionist learned she is in town for the SwimrunMan race, he looked at her in disbelief. “The Swimrun race?” he repeated. “But you are women!”
The second edition of ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly took place on June 17. It was a mind-blowing weekend between the race, the Mermaid wall and … cake.
The Lake District National Park in the UK is a mecca for endurance sports with its high peaks, glaciated valleys and unparalleled network of trails. Here Ben de Rivaz found Buttermere Valley, with its unique topographical features that make a perfect swimrun destination.
It’s the day after her first ÖTILLÖ swimrun on the Isles of Scilly last year. Sarah Odell is tired and sore and the thought of putting her wetsuit on is just too much to bear. Fast forward 10 months and Sarah is jogging along the coast of Hvar, Croatia, chatting with the other participants of the ÖTILLÖ training camp.
One of the ÖTILLÖ Original Four, Jesper Mars started swimrunning with his brother and now races with his daughter.
Spocks Family – the roaming social media storyteller – has been covering the sport of swimrun for over four years now, but Robin Danehav can remember the exact moment when its appeal hit the team over the head – and it’s a lot more recent than you might imagine.
For many years ÖTILLÖ co-founder Mats Skott has been a supporter of DECE clothing in Romania, which began with a ball of wool and a crocheting needle in 2009. The charity now provides a path for families to earn income through their own work, giving hope and setting them free from the downward cycles of poverty.
When Simon Donato decided to compete in ÖTILLÖ in 2015 for an episode of the TV show Boundless, little did he know that he’d absolutely fall in love with the sport and feel compelled to introduce ÖTILLÖ-style swimrun to Canada.
Swedish rapper Petter not only fell in love with swimrunning, he created his own event – Koster Swimrun. Petter has learned to balance life on the road with sport, wine and giving back to the community.
Flying is the fastest way to get to the Isles of Scilly, with travel time between 20 to 60 minutes. Female pilots Nair Tate and Charlie Baker give SLM the lowdown on Skybus.
Science says that the Bumblebee should not be able to fly since its aerodynamic capabilities are really bad. Of course, this is not something that the Bumblebee bothers too much about with its 200 flaps per second. The conclusion: Screw what you’ve heard. Believe in what you see.
Read what Swedish Foreign Policy News had to say about ÖTILLÖ