Ida Enstedt creates Garmin swimrun app and becomes a WC swimrunner along the way
So much so that in September 2017, Ida Enstedt finished 24th in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship Mixed Class.
Ida’s passion for the sport began in 2016 when, with Garmin, she followed the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series to some of the most beautiful locations across Europe. She was also fortunate to have watched the World Championship from a boat – which starts in Sandhamn and finishes after a gruelling 65km of running and 10 km of swimming at Utö, in Stockholm’s archipelago – from a boat.
“I saw how everyone was struggling,” says Ida. “At the awards ceremony, I looked around and realised that many of the participants were just like me. I could really identify with them. I thought that if they could do it, so could I. At that exact moment, I decided that this is something I have to do.”
Ida runs her first kilometre in 2012
At that point, Ida had only competed in a half-marathon, Göteborgsvarvet, and front crawl was something she had only learned the previous year.
The 44-year-old, who lives in Mölndal, just outside of Gothenburg, ran her first kilometre in 2012. She had no idea that five years later she would be one of the 148 teams participating in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship.
“Up until then, working out was not my thing,” she admits.
After meeting during a swim course in 2015, she joined forces with Mattias Hägerstrand to form Team Fenix. The 2017 World Championship put them through their paces with winds blowing at 15 metres per second, and with rain and waves reaching 3 metres high.
“It felt wonderful yet at the same time I felt so small, although I was never scared,” says Ida.
Commenting on the “pig swim”, a tough 1400-meter swim leg of the World Championship, Ida describes: “The waves were high as trucks. It felt like getting buckets of water over you all the time. Several of the waves hit me so hard I flipped. I felt like a glove in a washing machine, but all the time, somehow, I remained calm!”
She continues, “The race is both physically and mentally draining. It’s all about supporting each other as a team and overcoming any feeling that it’s impossible. I am proud and happy that I could accomplish the race with such positive feeling during twelve hours of competition!”
Real experience helps Garmin’s swimrun app
For many years Ida’s been working in marketing and communication at Garmin’s Nordic office in Gothenburg and has been a part of developing the Fenix5 multisport watch, which is the only training watch with swimrun functions.
Fenix5 can measure every stage separately and its functionality can be set for running or swimming. The accuracy of measuring the performance individually makes it easier to reach training goals.
Obviously, Ida’s running experience is an asset when she is working on improvements for the Garmin’s swimrun app. “I have been collecting requests from my fellow swimrunners and presenting them to the European Product Team and now I’m taking part in testing the new functions, which are helping with training for next year’s ÖTILLÖ season. I’m aiming to strengthen my body and qualify for the World Championship again, even better prepared,” she assures.
A family sport
And she is not the only one in the Enstedt household that is hooked. Her son, Milton, ten, is also a passionate swimrunner. “We were training together the whole summer. In September, we participated in a fun race. During 2018 we will continue to train and maybe do our first short competition together. One of the key benefits with swimrun is that you are a team where the stronger one can help the weaker one at key moment.”
Garmin connects to ÖTILLÖ
Garmin and ÖTILLÖ have been partners since 2012. During 2017, a Men’s and Mixed Team Garmin participated in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series. The men finished in fourth place at the World Championship, and the Mixed team collected the most points and became the overall winners of this season’s ÖTILLÖ World Series.
Garmin also sponsors athletes in several other sports, including cycling, trail running, fishing and more.
“Garmin is a brand that offers products for an active lifestyle and for those who constantly want to improve their performance. With swimrun, we feel it’s a very exciting sport, with a strong growth ahead in the next few years. Swimrun is a combination of two sports, running and swimming, which makes it even more interesting. Our smartwatch Fenix5 is a product that has really become a logical part of swimrun training and competition.” Marcus Bjärneroth, Nordic Marketing Director
Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #5 (December 2017)