…JOSEPHINE MALM CLASE, ÖTILLÖ Merchandising + Interpreter
1. Are you a Swimrunner?
I swim, and I run but not at the same time. I love being out on the sea sailing or swimming and I also have a very passionate relationship with the mountains. In my free time in Switzerland, I spend many days trail running, hiking, back country skiing, and biking in the mountains. But I guess that’s no excuse – I should try a Swimrun.
2. What coincidence led you to ÖTILLÖ?
One day in November, not long after I moved to Switzerland from Sweden, I was at the lake to do my daily cold swim. There was this man walking in front of me in a jacket with an “ÖTILLÖ” logo embroidered. I thought “Ooh what a weird thing! That’s Swedish – So he must be a Swede.” We started talking and it turned out that it was Dominik Leu, one of the owners of ÖTILLÖ and he told me that the ÖTILLÖ office was really close to my new home. Since I love adventure races of any kind, I got excited and asked him if I could support ÖTILLÖ in any way as a volunteer. Three weeks later, I was preparing the first permits for the Swedish races together with Anni at the office.
3. What is the best thing about being part of the ÖTILLÖ crew?
The best thing about being part of the crew is being included in a work team. When I first moved here, I didn’t have any other job and I didn’t know many people. The ÖTILLÖ crew and the work we have made during the year has brought a routine and meaning to my everyday life in Switzerland. Now colleagues turned into friends, and I am very happy about that.
4. What are your main tasks at ÖTILLÖ?
My main tasks at ÖTILLÖ on event weekends is selling merchandise and helping with all logistics. At the office, my expertise is speaking Swedish. I help out with communication with Swedish authorities such as applying for permits, making administrative calls in Swedish, or translating texts.
5. Share your favorite anecdote about this past Swimrun Season with us.
I actually have two favorite anecdotes. The first one is that my friend Cissi participated at ÖTILLÖ Utö in June, and I got to see her and cheer her on. Cissi was able to perform really well and win the Experience Team Women category. Super fun! And the second one was that my former teacher colleague Lillemor came to race ÖTILLÖ Cannes in October. She was supposed to participate in a team but since her partner got sick, she was considering not racing at all. I helped motivate her that the solo race would be a lot of fun too. So, she raced and loved it!
6. What do you like most about the Swimrun community?
The community is special because everyone in it is open and friendly. It is unique that the athletes participate in our races for so many different reasons and everybody brings their own story. It makes the community diverse. I also appreciate that there are people of all different ages. On-site at the events, I don’t only love to meet the participants, but also all the volunteers. They are fun to be around, and they are always so pleased to share their excitement of their home turfs with us.
7. What is your favorite piece of ÖTILLÖ merchandise?
Of course, it‘s caps! You can never have too many of them (see picture)!
8. What is your favorite ÖTILLÖ destination?
I am from Gothenburg, so that’s definitely my favorite destination. I like it because it has really rough nature and the weather always brings spice to the race experience because it’s so unpredictable. In addition, it is always nice to have my relatives helping at the event. This year, both my sister-in-law from the west coast and my cousin from Tromsö, Norway came and worked as volunteers.
9. Which destination should ÖTILLÖ expand to?
I would love to have an ÖTILLÖ competition in Norway. I understand that it would require thicker wetsuits and good safety measures, but I think it would be a really beautiful and wild destination to see through a Swimrun perspective.
10. Will you be part of ÖTILLÖ next season?
OF COURSE, I will be!