Merit Race #10: The Amphibious Challenge

Jul 27, 2017

By Simon Donato

I have never been a great swimmer, so when we decided to compete in ÖTILLÖ in 2015 for an episode of the TV show Boundless, I was probably more nervous than excited, knowing that I was in for 10 km of swimming.

Little did I know that I would absolutely fall in love with the sport and feel compelled to introduce ÖTILLÖ-style swimrun to Canada.

The Amphibious Challenge in Sheenboro Quebec takes place in the Ottawa River, a majestic heritage river that starts in Northern Ontario and winds its way south through Ottawa, and Montreal before finally reaching the St Lawrence. The inaugural race-course in 2016 was 15 km, with 11 km of running and 4 km of swimming, broken up over 7 islands.

Swimming in the Ottawa River is an incredible experience, as the water is generally warm, the current light, and the shoreline is home to kilometres of incredible sandy beaches.

Racers were treated to warm water, and a mix of road, single-track trails, flagged routes through forest, and shield rock. The race started and finished on the sandy beach at the historic Pontiac Hotel, formerly a Hudson Bay trading post, and athletes were treated to local fiddlers, a hearty pre-race breakfast, home cooked post-race meals, and lots of wonderful support and fanfare from the local community.

Swimming in the Ottawa River is an incredible experience, as the water is generally warm, the current light, and the shoreline is home to kilometres of incredible sandy beaches. The islands that dot the river are formed from granite, and pop out of the water like a turtle’s shell – if it were covered in trees!

As a merit race, we are adding a 40 km course, which is an exciting addition for us. The short course will remain largely as it was last year, but the long course will take athletes through new communities, and add some long runs between the island swims. Our goal is to showcase the beautiful region while providing swimrunners with a great challenge, and a wonderful adventure.

Our event is the perfect entry point to test the sport in a safe and controlled way, and last year, we saw a large number of “local” athletes compete, many of whom are returning, with the field dominated by women. We already have a number of international teams registered for the 2017 edition on September 9, and are looking forward to hosting another safe and successful swimrun event.

Race facts

Total distance: 40km
Runs: 34km
Swims: 6km
Transitions: TBD

More information

Website: www.amphibiouschallenge.com
Facebook: facebook.com/amphibiouschallenge

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #3 (July 2017)

More magazine articles

Swimrun Life #5 2017 – A word from the editor

I find myself waking up extra early on Sunday mornings with the anticipation of a blissfully long swimrun training day ahead of me. Instead, I put on an ÖTILLÖ cap and stare fondly at my paddles with this year’s race distances scribbled across them. Race days are not all I’m yearning for. It’s the people, the ÖTILLÖ community that I miss.

Race Directors’ Moment: The year is coming to a close

The selection process for the 2018 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship has started and the registration for Director’s Choice and the Ranking application is now open. There are four more ÖTILLÖ qualification races, plus the 7/24 concept.

2017 Ranking Leaders: Consistency puts you on top!

In 2016, we started a Ranking System that we could be as fair as possible when awarding spots to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship. Before this method, we had to try to sift through hundreds of applications and go with our gut feeling. Now we can finally see its full effect.

Josefine Fast and Maria Möller swimrun for fun

Josefine and Maria started working out three years ago at ages 34 and 37. As team Swimrun4fun, they not only finished the 2017 ÖTILLÖ WC but are No 2 in the 2017 World Series Women’s Team ranking. As they say, “Our ultimate goal is to try to inspire others – we think everyone should be a swimrunner.”

International partners
  • Head
  • Campz Addnature
  • Garmin
  • Vivo Barefoot