RACE DIRECTORS REPORT ÖTILLÖ SWIMRUN GOTHENBURG 2022
In Swimrun nature dictates the terms.
At 7:31 on Saturday morning we decided to take away the Northern loop for the World Series race course. It was impossible to have safety boats on two of the swims without putting the boats and staff at risk. The winds were strong and the sea was heavy.
This always makes the start of the day quite exciting. All of a sudden you must shift all your focus to making sure that we move all resources to a new set up.
At 10:10 we had an on-time start for the World Series racers. Their new race course would take them two loops around the Sprint course which would make their race both longer in distance and in race time. A total of 32 swims so lots of transitions and more or less only technical running.
Fortunately we had redesigned the race courses so they all fit into each other so that this possibility was an option.
Two hours later we started the Sprint and then the Experience distances. These with more racers than before. We had calculated that the Sprint and Experience would be able to start before the bulk of the World Series racers would finish the first loop.
Max Andersson & Hugo Tormento took the lead from the very beginning in the World Series. Going for their 4th consecutive win. They managed to pass just ahead of the Sprint start.
Behind, some solo racers, a few chasing mens teams and three chasing mixed teams passed within seconds of each other between the Sprint and Experience starts.
By the time the Experience started and the bulk of the WS racers caught them up they were all by the first swims and all of a sudden the area was boiling with swimrunners. More than 600 persons were in the same area.
Complicated with 600 racers in the same place
This was beautiful but also a bit complicated for the racers and unfortunately the consequence of the weather change making the course crowded. This is not something we want to achieve as it creates some frustration for all. We prefer that you are all spread out and that you almost feel alone in nature.
The racing from everyone was so beautiful to see. Smiles, helping hands and encouragement between the distances and categories. In some places the islands pushed up some big waves and in some places there was a bit of currents but in most the course was protected albeit the wind and waves.
We also knew that the finish line would be hectic with Experience racers finishing first followed by Sprint followed by World Series. But also, at some point all distances at the same time. Thank god we had changed the bib colors this year so we knew which distance was coming towards the line. It is the right idea but needs a bit of tweaking so we can see men, women and mixed too.
Racing-wise it is so positive to see all the Experience and Sprint racers come across the line. There is so much positive energy. Thank you!
The World Series racers have another energy as they are quite tired but also extremely happy. Once again Max Andersson & Hugo Tormento took a massive win. The second place overall went to the equally impressive Désirée Andersson who raced together with Alexander Berggren this time. Also winning the mixed category. In the Womens category Ulrika Eriksson was back for her first race of the season. This time winning with Hanna Skårbratt who was back from maternity leave.
All three of these teams will be viewed as somewhat of favorites for the upcoming World Championship.
Thank you all racers, all staff, all sponsors and all volunteers for making this years ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Gothenburg a success. We already look forward to next year when we can hopefully do the whole World Series course.
Now focus shifts to the Stockholm Archipelago where we have ÖTILLÖ Sprint Final 15K on September 3rd. Then our 16th ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship on September 5th before we look south again for the autumn.