ÖTILLÖ Merit Race #1 – Loch Gu Loch

Feb 14, 2017

Loch Gu Loch

In 2016, swimrun came to Scotland in style. The team behind the famous CELTMAN! Extreme Scottish Triathlon identified through their athletes and connections a common theme between the two sports and noticed that many Celtman athletes were also competing in ÖTILLÖ. They realised that Scotland would be a fabulous place for a swimrun event and while not furnished with the thousands of islands found in the Stockholm archipelago, they noted that flipping the Island-to-Island concept to Lake-to-Lake would make perfect sense. Thus “Loch Gu Loch” – Scottish Gaelic for “Lake to Lake” – was born.

Loch Gu Loch takes place in the historic and magical surroundings of Loch Ness, Scotland. Famed for the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty with all the elements expected of an ancient Scottish landscape.

Those who choose to join us in the wilds of the Highlands can expect a treat for the senses and an incredibly tough day out. After disembarking the Jacobite Warrior cruiser, athletes assemble on the ramparts of Urquhart Castle, founded in the 13th century, to ready for the epic challenge ahead.

Those who choose to join us in the wilds of the Highlands can expect a treat for the senses and an incredibly tough day out.

The first swim takes athletes 2 km straight across the (legend has it, bottomless) loch to a rocky exit and steep climb through ancient forest to the next swim in Loch Duntelchaig, which is generally calm and cool.
Much of the running in Loch Gu Loch is on soft trails that can be muddy, good paths and some off-trail sections. A little tarmac is necessary to move between sections but this is kept to a minimum. All the way the views are spectacular, the surroundings green and the water … well, freezing!

The water temperature in Scotland can be a shock to the system but swimrun with it’s unique concept of running in a wetsuit soon brings the body temperature back up and there are a number of well-stocked aid stations to sooth your race munchies.

After taking on the steep and rugged terrain, the final swim involves a dive from an old pontoon and a 750-metre swim back across Loch Ness to our utterly magnificent finish line at Fort Augustus Abbey, which also serves as race HQ and luxury accommodation for the athletes.

Join us on Saturday, September 30, 2017, and take on the Swedes who hold the course record. Or try our new sprint option – 7 swims and 2 technical and challenging runs – with the same spectacular Abbey finish line.

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue # 1 (Feb/Mar 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