Bringing you to the heart of swimrun

Jul 27, 2017

By Robin Danehav

Spocks Family – the roaming social media storyteller – has been covering the sport of swimrun for over four years now, but I can remember the exact moment when its appeal hit us over the head – and it’s a lot more recent than you might imagine.

From the moment the shotgun went off the first time we covered ÖTILLÖ, we immediately fell in love with this wonderful, crazy, demanding, exhilarating form of racing.

Many of us involved in bringing you the races live have spent our time stuck in the studio at the finish line or in the control room, but we never had the chance to experience the thrill of these races up-close.

That moment of revelation I mentioned came a few weeks back as we bounced across the waves off the coast of Hvar, Croatia, in a speedboat, with the sun beating down, sea water swelling around us and swim caps of our competitors bobbing on the tops of the waves.

It was then and there that many of us realised the full scale of the physical and mental demands the athletes place on themselves in challenging conditions, navigating a course as tough as it is beautiful.

All the while, we broadcast large chunks of the event live on the ÖTILLÖ Facebook page because this is what we do.

Ultimately, we want to know everything about this sport and the only limits we respect are those of our imagination.

Regardless of whether it is a multi-camera set-up with studio lights and fancy graphics, or a scaled-down Facebook Live broadcast using an iPhone and a cordless microphone, our goal is always to show you the heart of what is happening, and together with the race directors we seek out stories to tell, and then find a way to tell them.

It’s not always easy.

Sometimes we will be tested by the elements (one year our studio was blown down by gale force winds two hours before the race started), other times the technological gremlins will rear up and refuse to co-operate in some blacked-out corner of an island with no 3G.

When this happens, we draw on the vast wealth of experience we bring – from covering events in Svalbard and the Sochi Olympics to crowning Sweden’s best chef every year – to find a way.

Ultimately, we want to know everything about this sport and the only limits we respect are those of our imagination.

And at the centre of it all are the heroic athletes, from the elite and experienced to the dogged newcomers, who make every aspect of every race an odyssey in human nature.

We’ve been privileged to be part of these races over the last few years, and we look forward to being involved for many years to come.

For like the sport of swimrun, we’ve come a long way – but we’ve only just begun.

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

More magazine articles

Our 2019 challenge: bring a friend

Swimrun continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Not only has the sport crossed over to the endurance community but new brands, new athletes and new races (and on non-frozen continents!) are coming on board. Look for our new 5-7k Experience distance and the possibility to race Solo.

Swimrun’s ARK of success

The 2017 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship was one for the history books. Against all odds, including disorientating waves and relentless winds that toyed with racers throughout the day, a new sub-8 hours course record was set. Off the course, the buzz was all about the new ARK wetsuit prototype worn by two of the first-place teams.

Thule Crew sweep 2018 ÖTILLÖ season to win €33,000

Helena Karaskova Erbenova and Martin Flinta took first place at 1000 Lakes last weekend. Wearing the Golden Bib for the Mixed Division, it was the pair’s sixth consecutive ÖTILLÖ swimrun win – a streak that took them across the entire 2018 season and led them to the €33,000 pot of gold.

ÖTILLÖ’s new World Champs get ready for 1000 Lakes

Some people break records, others shatter them. That’s exactly what Fredrik Axegård and Alex Flores did when they finished the 2018 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in a time of 7:39:25, 19 minutes faster than last year. As Team SportOffice heads to 1000 Lakes in Germany this weekend, they talk to SLM about race day and tactics.

International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green