Skip to main content
Back to news
September 11th, 2020

15 years of Swimrun – The founders story

“In 2006 we saw the opportunity to make an epic race. Who knew that it would become a world-wide sport?!” – Michael lemmel & Mats Skott about the original ÖTILLÖ and the beginning of swimrun.

Divider Gradient

Our story

In late 2005 Mats Skott and I met with Anders Malm and the Andersson brothers to hear more about their original adventure of swimming and running between Utö and Sandhamn. The story about the original bet can be found here.

Mats and I very quickly realized, after more than 10 years of professional adventure racing that the idea of creating a race along the original story could be the beginning of something epic. Our ambition was to create a race that people would talk about in the whole world. We launched the first ÖTILLÖ in 2006.

The development of swimrun

Since the first race in 2006, where teams had to wear a life vest and one team came with inflatable Nokia telephones the original ÖTILLÖ race grew. In 2012 we called it Swimrun and we made plans to put on more than one race so that the original ÖTILLÖ was renamed ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship.

Today swimrun exists on all non-frozen continents, we have a World Series and the original race is considered to be the World Championship. In the future we believe swimrun will become one of the big, mainstream endurance sports.

See the film, we call it our story!

We hope you will like it.

By Michael Lemmel

Divider Gradient