ÖTILLÖ Merit Race #5 – Côte Vermeille

Apr 24, 2017

Côte Vermeille (Photo: Akuna)

Akuna

By Sylvain Rousselat and Olivier Serrat

The first SwimRun in France

In 2015, Sylvain Rousselat and Olivier Serrat, two friends passionate about outdoors sports and their hometown, came up with the Côte Vermeille Swimrun. This exceptional race takes place between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the beautiful landscape of the Pyrénées-Orientales and the heart of the well known Banyuls and Collioure vineyards.

For Sylvain and Olivier, the key objective when designing one of the most beautiful yet challenging courses in the world was to keep it ecofriendly. As the Côte Vermeille Swimrun crosses many protected areas, respecting the natural environment, as well as the local culture and people, was a priority.

The duo have assembled a concept of four races: Ultra 63.9km, Longue 45.8km, Moyenne 26.2km and Courte 12.8km. The first edition of June 25, 2016, saw 500 swimrunners at the starting line and involved more than 160 volunteers.

The SwimRun Côte Vermeille created a real buzz not just locally, but also worldwide, with more than 51 countries sharing the story online.

2017: bigger and better

The second edition looks like it will be a key event in the swimrun world. Already 900 swimrunners have signed up for the race, with only a few places left for registration. New for this 2017 edition are two kids’ races, the “best hiker challenge”, and an even stronger human and environmental commitment.

A trail that’ll take your breath away … figuratively and literally

The Côte Vermeille Ultra is the first ÖTILLÖ Merit Race in France, and also the biggest one in the country with +2498m of positive altitude change on 63.9km.

Following a trail along the coast, through the vineyards and up to the Albères massif, swimrunners will discover the wonderful and unique landscape of the Côte Vermeille. Starting from the lighthouse of Cap Cerbère, on the Spanish border, the race will lead the bravest of swimrunners through 5 towns characteristic of the region – Cerbère, Banyuls-sur-Mer, Port-Vendres, Collioure and Argelès-sur-Mer – each with its own strong heritage and cultural identity.

Midway through the race, teams will face a 17.06 km running section up to the Tour Madeloc, an ancient 13th-century watchtower, 670m above the sea. The view up there is breathtaking.

The coveted black and orange Tee

Strong motivation, great physical condition and unfailing team spirit is what’s in store to arrive at the finish line and claim your black and orange Ultra finisher T-shirt … The “Holy Grail” for the swimrunner.

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue # 2 (Apr/May 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