Swimrun is the sport that was born from a drunken bet. In 2011 it got the name from Erika Rosenbaum, one of our ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship podium finishers. It is a team-sport based on two persons travelling through nature and time, completely dependent of each other.
It is a team-sport based on two persons travelling through nature and time, completely dependent of each other. The team alternates between running and swimming along a pre-marked course in nature; it can be between islands or between lakes. As a team you race within 10 metres of each other, you share the experience, the fun, the beauty and the suffering. Swimrun is emotion!
The drunken bet
In 2002 Anders Malm, the owner of Utö Värdshus (the finish line hotel of ÖTILLÖ), his friend Janne Lindberg and some of his staff (the Andersson brothers) had a late night in the bar. They challenged each other – “Last team of two to Sandhamn pays for hotel, dinner and drinks”. Two teams of two started the next morning with the only rule being that they had to pass the three different restaurants on the islands between the start and the finish. The last team at the restaurant had to drink and pay what the team ahead of them had ordered for them. It took them more than 24 hours and they were too tired to party on arrival. They tried again the year after with the same result. We call them the Original 4.
In 2006 Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott were asked if they could make a commercial race out of their crazy challenge. They called the race ÖTILLÖ (island to island in Swedish). The first couple of years only 11 teams started and only two managed to finish within the time limits. Then something happened and the teams learned that the only way to race is by not stopping, with constant movement. Today the race is internationally recognized as the SWIMRUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and has been ranked by CNN as one of the toughest races in the World.
The sport of Swimrun was born!