It has been a year in which weather has been very prominent at each race. In Hvar it was the wind and the currents. At Utö, it was the fear of the cold water. On the Isles of Scilly, it was the tropical-like conditions. Engadin, it was the major thunderstorm. At ÖTILLÖ it was the wind but at 1000 Lakes the season ended with perfect conditions!
In the end, we all came through. We cannot change the weather; we all need to learn how to adapt. We, as an organisation and you as racers, we are in it together and we need to support each other.
It has been an amazing season with more and more teams discovering the sport of swimrun through the ÖTILLÖ Sprints. We are seeing the level of performance expand to where swimrun is really gaining hold as a sport in several countries outside Scandinavia. The ball has started to roll.
Remember in 2014 we introduced our race in Engadin, which launched the expansion of swimrun outside of Scandinavia. In total there were probably no more than 60 races in the world. Now, three years later, there are probably close to 450 races. By the end of next year we think it will be impossible to keep track of all swimrun events around the world.
We have participants from 40 nations, we have a Ranking System, we have a World Series, we have a World Championship and we have beautiful Merit races. For the first time we also have three ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series winners. Thank you for being part of building a new sport. Together we are all pioneers and breaking new ground every day.
In the aftermath of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship, we broke through the 1,000,000 barrier on Facebook. Imagine a race with 150 teams that has that much impact. Much thanks to the epic weather!
During the year we have together donated more than €10,000 to charity and we have helped support families in Romania thanks to our Dece collaboration.
Most importantly, we have all made new friends, built new relationships and had lots of fun. We have lots of great memories from very special experiences that never will happen again. Cherish all of these in the off-season preparing and dreaming for the next.
We miss you and already look forward to ÖTILLÖ Hvar on April 7-8 when we meet again.
Michael & Mats
Race Directors ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series
Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #4 (October 2017)