Merit Race #10: The Amphibious Challenge

Jul 27, 2017

By Simon Donato

I have never been a great swimmer, so when we decided to compete in ÖTILLÖ in 2015 for an episode of the TV show Boundless, I was probably more nervous than excited, knowing that I was in for 10 km of swimming.

Little did I know that I would absolutely fall in love with the sport and feel compelled to introduce ÖTILLÖ-style swimrun to Canada.

The Amphibious Challenge in Sheenboro Quebec takes place in the Ottawa River, a majestic heritage river that starts in Northern Ontario and winds its way south through Ottawa, and Montreal before finally reaching the St Lawrence. The inaugural race-course in 2016 was 15 km, with 11 km of running and 4 km of swimming, broken up over 7 islands.

Swimming in the Ottawa River is an incredible experience, as the water is generally warm, the current light, and the shoreline is home to kilometres of incredible sandy beaches.

Racers were treated to warm water, and a mix of road, single-track trails, flagged routes through forest, and shield rock. The race started and finished on the sandy beach at the historic Pontiac Hotel, formerly a Hudson Bay trading post, and athletes were treated to local fiddlers, a hearty pre-race breakfast, home cooked post-race meals, and lots of wonderful support and fanfare from the local community.

Swimming in the Ottawa River is an incredible experience, as the water is generally warm, the current light, and the shoreline is home to kilometres of incredible sandy beaches. The islands that dot the river are formed from granite, and pop out of the water like a turtle’s shell – if it were covered in trees!

As a merit race, we are adding a 40 km course, which is an exciting addition for us. The short course will remain largely as it was last year, but the long course will take athletes through new communities, and add some long runs between the island swims. Our goal is to showcase the beautiful region while providing swimrunners with a great challenge, and a wonderful adventure.

Our event is the perfect entry point to test the sport in a safe and controlled way, and last year, we saw a large number of “local” athletes compete, many of whom are returning, with the field dominated by women. We already have a number of international teams registered for the 2017 edition on September 9, and are looking forward to hosting another safe and successful swimrun event.

Race facts

Total distance: 40km
Runs: 34km
Swims: 6km
Transitions: TBD

More information

Website: www.amphibiouschallenge.com
Facebook: facebook.com/amphibiouschallenge

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

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More magazine articles

ÖTILLÖ women take off

There was a 30.5% spike in women racing at ÖTILLÖ events from 2017 to 2018. And with world champs Annika Ericsson and Kristin Larsson not defending their title this year, expect some formidable performances in the Women’s division next week at ÖTILLÖ.

The Sprint Final 15: Swimrun’s Hall of Fame

Hollywood has its Walk of Fame, Cleveland has its Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and ÖTILLÖ has its Final 15 – an open-air museum where you can follow in the footsteps of swimrun legends who’ve battled their way along this last 15 kilometers of the ÖTILLÖ World Championship course for the past 14 years.

The Swimrun Chameleon

Annika Ericsson is a five-time ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Champion, winning the title more than any other racer in any other category. She also has a slew of first place wins in both the Women’s and Mixed categories.

International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green