STOCKHOLM SWEDEN, 5 SEPTEMBER 2016
Incredible performances went down at the ÖTILLÖ, the Swimrun World Championship, when all three categories, men, mixed and women crushed their respective course record on the 75 km long race through the archipelago of Stockholm, Sweden.
Daniel Hansson and Lennart Lelle Moberg, Swedish Armed Forces, totally crushed the previous fastest time around the course and managed to finish under the magic eight-hour limit at 7 hours 59 minutes and 4 seconds!
More course records were beaten when tremendous Eva Nyström (SWE), former long distance duathlon world champion and Adriel Young (AUS), Thule Adventure, finished as first mixed team and eighth overall on 8 hours 49 minutes and 58 seconds. Kristin Larsson and Annika Eriksson, Team Addnature, probably did the most impressive race of the day by finishing this incredibly long race almost an hour faster than the previous record in the women’s category!
238 competitors in teams of two from 20 different nations, tackled the 75 km long race with 65 km trail running and 10 km swimming over and between 26 islands in the Stockholm archipelago. It is the 11th edition of ÖTILLÖ, the Swimrun World Championship, one of the world’s toughest one day races.
Swimrun is growing as a sport every day and to win the prestigious ÖTILLÖ is the ultimate acheivement. The top teams train all year to perform well at ÖTILLÖ, pushing the pace around the course to mind blowing finishing times. More teams than ever were up fighting at the top, which pushed the leaders Daniel Hansson and Lelle Moberg, who made the enormous accomplishment to finish under eight hours.
“It’s like a dream. We have worked really hard for this all year and our biggest goal the last couple of years has been to finish under eight hours. Finally we did it! We had a plan and we stuck to it both tactically and mentally. It was tough mentally as we felt chased throughout the course after taking the lead. Paul [Krochak] and Oscar [Olsson – 2:nd team] helped us to stay at a high pace… When we realised that we had a chance to manage the eight hour limit we forgot everything about cramps and fatigue and just went for it all the way to the finish line,” said Daniel Hansson, exhausted but overjoyed at the finsh.
ÖTILLÖ is an emotional experience for the 120 teams of two (119 started), thoroughly handpicked through merits and qualifying races (with a waiting list of over 600 teams). The start goes off at dawn at 6 am to then race for hours on end over and between 26 islands in the rugged, beautiful archipelago of Stockholm. Racing with the elements of nature is unique. You run on land and jump in the water when you have to get to the next island. Running on trails, slippery rocks, boulders, forest paths and swimming in the cold Baltic sea for a total of 75 km is a gruelling challenge even for the fittest. ÖTILLÖ is long and it is painful. As a competitor you need to be well prepared, race it wisely and find a pace that will take you all the way to the finish line, making the cut offs before dark.
Racing in pairs is an exclusive experience and allows competitors to excel if the team manages to use its strengths wisely to get stronger. Kristin Larsson and Annika Eriksson did exactly that and raced smart, using Larsson’s strong running skills and Eriksson’s fast swimming to go faster as a team and take the exceptional win in the women’s category. Those ladies are as tough as you can get. Kristin Larsson:
“We pushed hard all the way. We just had great team work during the entire race taking advantage of each other’s strengths. When we heard the other women teams were getting closer we decided to go even harder… “
The former long distance duathlon world champion Eva Nyström (SWE), raced with Australian Adriel Young for the first time on ÖTILLÖ. Everyone knew they were going to be strong but Nyström was very emotional at the finish after being the fastest ever woman around the course: “I just had a baby. We have never participated before, and we had no expectations. We thought we had an hour left when we got to Utö, we did not know where we were, so when we reached the finish line I just couldn’t beleive it!”,
2005 Kona Ironman Champion and 7x Ironman winner Faris Al Sultan (GER) met tough competition but did a great first participation of ÖTILLÖ, finishing on a 15th place (men’s category).
Top 3 result
- Lelle Moberg (SWE) and Daniel Hansson (SWE), Swedish Armed Forces, 7:59:04
- Paul Krochak (CAN) and Oscar Olsson (SWE), Team Head Swimming, 8:07:57
- Fredrik Axegård (SWE) and Alex Flores (SWE), Team Runfast 77, 8:16:49
- Kristin Larsson (SWE) and Annika Ericsson (SWE), Addnature, 9:32:03
- Ulrika Eriksson (SWE) and Helena Sivertsson (SWE), Team Icebug 9:44:41
- Bibben Nordblom (SWE) and Maja Tesch (SWE) Team Head Swimming, 9:48:01
- Eva Nyström (SWE) and Adriel Young (AUS), Thule Adventure Team 8:49:58
- Staffan Björklund (SWE) and Marika Wagner (SWE), Apollo Sports/Head Swimming 9:09:52
- Diane Sadik (SWE) and Rickard Berglund (SWE), Swimrunshop.com, 9:20:14
Fast facts ÖTILLÖ – The Swimrun World Championship 2016
- 11th edition
- 75 km running and swimming from dawn till dusk
- 65 km of trail running
- 10 km of open water swimming
- Water temperature 10–15° C
- 26 islands to cross
- 50 changes between running and swimming
- The swims are between 100 and 1 780 metres long
- The runs are between 70 and 19 700 metres long
- Longest swim 1 780 metres
- Longest run 19,7 km
- 120 teams – 70 men, 32 mixed, 18 women
- Teams of two; for safety reasons and for the unique experience
- 20 Nationalties
Ranked by CNN as one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world. Featured in NYT, Outside Magazine, l’Equipe Magazine, TF1, Die Welt and many more.
About Swimrun and ÖTILLÖ
Swimrun is the fast growing sport where you in teams of two alternate trail running and open water swimming on a marked course. There is no time to lose – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! It is a unique sport and experience as you always race with a partner and the race course is out in wild nature.
The sport has grown hugely popular amongst endurance sport athletes, triathletes, trail runners, swimmers and nature lovers. It has drawn the attention to celebrities like Pippa Middleton who competed successfully in the ÖTILLÖ World Championship 2015. ÖTILLÖ (meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original and the world’s longest swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world.
You run 65 km on island trails, slippery rocks, unbeaten terrain and you swim a total of 10 km in the cold water of the Baltic Sea. To make it to the finish line before the cut-offs and darkness you can never stop. ÖTILLÖ is celebrating its 11th edition on 5 September 2016. 120 teams participate and 600 teams are on the waiting list.
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