…FABIAN WALTHER, Athlete
1. Fabian, your father and you won the Experience (Team Men) victory at the ÖTILLÖ Engadin in 2021. One year later, you were also able to win the Sprint (Team Men) at the ÖTILLÖ Gothenburg. How and when did you get involved in Swimrun?
I came to the Swimrun quite early. Back in 2014, when I was 6 years old, I watched ÖtillÖ Engadin as a spectator. In 2019, I completed my first small Swimrun in a surfing neoprene with my father in Lake Silvaplana (my dad took part at ÖtillÖ Sprint Engadin the same year). I liked it so much that I wanted to train more and more Swimrun and finally I took part in the Experience race in Silvaplana in 2021.
2. Last year you competed in your first World Series race at ÖTILLÖ Gothenburg. How did it feel to cross the finish line after 6 hours and 17 minutes?
It was a very relieving feeling to finally be able to cross the finish line after 6:17 hours. I felt so much joy, but I was mostly looking forward to finally taking off my wetsuit and going for a long hot shower.
3. At just 15 years old, you are one of the most talented Swimrun newcomers. Do you train regularly and what does your training week look like?
Swimrun specific training is difficult in the Engadin valley due to its long and cold winter, but I train with the swimming club The St. Moritzer Swimmers twice a week. Currently, I’m attending the sports school in Champfèr as a cross-country skier, which is the reason why I train several times a week with Engadin Nordic. In the summers, my dad and I do a Swimrun every Monday after school, and we try to swimrun as often as possible on the weekends.
4. Do you train a lot with your dad and who of you is the driving force in the “Engadina Power” team?
Yes, I almost always train with my father, I rarely do a Swimrun alone. We always push each other, when swimming I tend to push my father and when running it’s the other way around.
5. Aside from Swimrun, what do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I mostly train for cross-country skiing, but I also enjoy doing many other sports such as biking, windsurfing, trail running, conquering mountains, and much more. I also really enjoy building airplanes out of Lego.
6. You are a true all-rounder, what do you do between all the training sessions?
When I’m not training, I’m at my home in Champfèr. Either I study for school, or I continue building my Lego airplanes.
7. What’s next and what are your goals for the future?
In a few weeks, I’ll be taking the entrance exam for high school. My sporting goal is to take part in the Swimrun World Championship and in cross-country skiing I’m aiming for the Ski Classic series.
8. Do you have a role model in sports?
I have various athletic role models. When it comes to cross-country skiing, it is the Norwegian cross-country skier Johannes Klæbo and in Swimrun, it is Hugo Tormento and Max Andersson.
9. Aside from your dad, who would you like to do a Swimrun with and why?
I honestly don’t know because me and my dad are the perfect team. I don’t think I would compete in ÖtillÖ with anyone else, but I could imagine doing a race as a solo racer.
10. Which ÖTILLÖ destination do you like best and which ÖTILLÖ races are in your competition planning in 2024?
My favorite ÖtillÖ race is in Gothenburg because of its very demanding course with lots of transitions and I like the archipelago there best. For season 2024, we are planning to race the Sprint in the Engadin, the World Series in Gothenburg, and perhaps the ÖtillÖ in Cannes.
Read the original interview in German here.
From Dreams to Reality