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Adriel Young and a Backyard Swimrun

Two-time ÖTILLÖ Mixed World Champ Adriel Young swapped Lifeguard fame on the shores of Bondi Beach for a tiny stuga in a forest outside of Gothenburg and has become a big fixture in the Swedish swimrun community ever since.

A Backyard Swimrun

You cannot miss Adriel Young in a swimrun event. Whether racing as a mixed team (Winner 2016 and 2017 ÖTILLÖ WC) or men’s (third place 2019 ÖTILLÖ WC), he seems effortlessly at the head of the pack wearing a big grin. Once across the Finish Line, the founder of Swimrun Australia is cheering on others, with his two daughters in tow. If that does not ring a bell he put in a stellar performance as one of the two “flying reporters” during the LIVE Webcast of the 2019 ÖTILLÖ WC.

“We haven’t been able to travel back to Australia as planned but other than that, not much else has changed here,” he admits. “I live in the forest with my wife and our two girls and Covid has made me realize we already live pretty isolated.”

In the end of last summer Adriel organized a small “backyard” swimrun on the West Coast of Sweden. “It was a little idea I had out on a run one day. I put on a super small backyard event, 5 teams of 2,” says the 30-year-old.

He set 4 orienteering check points—on 4 islands, in 4 lakes—not far from his house. “Three days before the race I sent all participants a map showing the check points so they could plan their route. Each team had to race with a mobile phone, for safety, but also so I could follow everyone by tracking their phones, which for me as a spectator was really fun watching everyone taking different routes,” explains Adriel.

“The winning time was 2.5 hours and it was nice to see people enjoying swimrun, and to have a very small feeling of racing again.”

The purpose of the event was to inspire and motivate others!

Training

Adriel says his training dropped drastically, after information came out about the corona virus. “The pools were open here in Sweden, however, the recommendation was to keep a 1.5-metre distance, which was more or less impossible in the local pools, so I took the personal decision that if I could save even one life and reduce the spread of the virus, then I was happy to give up swimming for some months of my life.”

As events were being cancelled, he also chose “to back off on the already low volume I usually have”. He ran in the forest behind his house but only “if I felt like it or a friend dragged me out”.

We assume things have changed now as Adriel is seen on social media again in training mode. He will race ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship in 2021 with team mate and powerhouse, Oscar Olsson who certainly has not backed off on his training.

A fun project

He does admit that he did have some fun during last summer with a good mate on little adventures exploring the West Coast of Sweden, which included a swimrun from the most northern island of the northern Gothenburg Archipelago to the most southern island in the southern Archipelago. “It’s trips like this that remind me how I love this ‘sport’—or amphibious form of movement.”

A favorite race

When you ask Adriel about his favorite races his eyes light up and you can see the passion he has for the sport. One of his favorite races has been Öloppet which now is the new ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Gothenburg. That will be a place to find him grinning from ear to ear and happy to talk with anyone.

Follow Adriel on Instagram or on Twitter

Article written by Nancy Heslin.

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