Race Directors’ Moment: The year is coming to a close

Dec 15, 2017

Irina Kurmanaeva

In Sweden, winter is taking a firm grip, although some of us dared the weather gods and went for a swimrun in the Stockholm archipelago as late as the middle of November.

That luxury is probably over for this year, with only the nutcases doing December swimrun races with some short swims and long loops to get warm again.

Like Race Director Mats Skott says – ”I do in nature what the season dictates”. Is winter swimrun climate change in the brain, too?

2017 has truly been a year where nature has shown what she’s got; wind in Hvar, beautiful summer days on Utö, dream-like weather for the Isles of Scilly, a major thunderstorm in Engadin, epic wind and life-changing moments during ÖTILLÖ; and then calm, nice conditions at 1000 Lakes.

We are all prisoners of the limitations of our minds and the comfort of our lives. It is time to confront these paradigms and re-connect with nature.

In 2018, we challenge each of you to bring someone new into the sport of swimrun – to show them the simplicity of travelling with only hand luggage; to show them the beauty of moving through nature like the wind, be it over land or water; and to show them the warmth and friendship of our community, how easy it is to stretch out a hand to someone in need around you.

We started this sport in 2006 with the first ÖTILLÖ, and now 11 years later there are hundreds of swimrun events around but the sport still has its hurdles. We need to stick to our principles and help each other grow in a sustainable manner. We would not be here if it were not for you!

We are in this together – racers, media, sponsors, followers, families and you #weareotillo and yes, #weareswimrun

The selection process for the 2018 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship has started and the registration for Director’s Choice and the Ranking application is now open on the website. Eight teams qualified at ÖTILLÖ 1000 Lakes and we have four more exiting qualification races at ÖTILLÖ Hvar, ÖTILLÖ Utö, ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly and ÖTILLÖ Engadin.

If a team fulfils the 7/24 concept criteria by July 2018, they will get an ÖTILLÖ spot before we have a lottery for remaining slots.

Make sure you plan 2018 well and that you have fun along the way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And, above all, thank you for being brilliant.

Michael Lemmel & Mats Skott
Race Directors
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #5 (December 2017)

More magazine articles

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.

Kickboxing world champ dives into swimrun

By all means, Fanny Josefine should be in a stable or the boxing ring but instead, this world cup gold kickboxing champion is saddling up with paddles and a pullbuoy as Team Lost.

How one team uses swimrun to combat MS stereotypes

Patric Tengblad was recently diagnosed with MS, a neurological disease that affects 2.3 million people worldwide. For the 2019 swimrun season he will pair up with newcomer to the sport Dr Fredrik Piehl as Team Combat MS.

International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green