Team SUUNTO Swimrun part I: Introduction

We continue to our series where we present some teams that will do the ÖtillÖ race, and talk about subjects as: their background, their goals, motivation, how they train, team building and so on. Get inspired, get race ready as we approach the upcoming ÖtillÖ World Championships on the 5 of september.

Second out is the mens team Suunto Swimrun from Finland & Germany, enjoy!

/Editor Daniel for the WOS team.

WoS: Who are team Suunto?

TS: Team SUUNTO SWIMRUN consist of Juha and Armin. We met while being competitive swimmers, as Armin was at some point living and training in Finland. We did both do mainly middle distance freestyle, and during those days we mostly competed against each other. For the swimrun we decided to change things a bit and now share the pain and don´t suffer alone anymore.

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WoS: How did you get into swimrun?

TS: A mutual swimmer friend of us originally signed up to do the race (ÖtillÖ 2013, together with Armin) but couldn´t get time off from work. So he looked for an equally fit friend that was up for the challenge. At first we were both quite hesitant and Juha took this challenge with only 3 weeks time to get prepared. Our training was therefore far from being optimal. Luckily we anyways decided to participate, and never regretted it (or maybe a bit during the 20K run of the first race)

Ö till Ö 2015, Foto: JakobEdholm.com

Ö till Ö 2015, Photo: JakobEdholm.com

WoS: What did you do before you got into swimrun?

TS: Lots of pool swimming. At the top the training amounts have been over 3000 km of swimming/year, which gives a solid background to any endurance sports. However, it was already some 10 years since really active swimming training before we got into the swimrun. Of course we had been doing some swimming and additional endurance sports such as running, biking, and XC skiing during those years, but were not being any professional athletes anymore. Also the fact that we’ve been more or less spending our life in the water instead of dry land, puts some limitations to get competitive in the running parts.

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WoS: What kind of swimrun-races have you done before and which races are you doing this year, 2016, any results?

TS: 2016 only Utö Swim Run so far together. Juha will do Porkkala swimrun in Finland in July 23rd with his brother (as last year). I (Armin) will join ÖtillÖ in September. We’ll also consider Solvalla swimrun in Espoo Finland at the end of the season (after ÖtillÖ in September). Juha also did this race last year with the mutual swimmer friend of us who originally got us to the sport.

WoS: Why Team Suunto?

TS: We originally started our collaboration with Suunto when competing under the name “Baltic sea actin group” as one of our targets has been to raise awareness over the state of the Baltic Sea and get more people and organizations to commit on actions to save it. Suunto has greatly shared also this target and this is now our 3rd year as in collaboration with Suunto. They are from Finland and their top devices are also manufactured there. Lots of our values are common. “Conquer new Territory” is what their aim is and it fits nicely to our ambitions and the whole swimrun movement. Their watches have been very useful in competitions and for training, especially recently when we trained of the unmarked ÖtillÖ race course. A perfect tool for all outdoor freaks as well as nice people to work with.

WoS: This year you are doing ÖtillÖ, how did you get in, what are your ambitions with the race?

TS: We managed to place top 10 last year and believe that was enough of credentials. After our first race in 2013 we have always improved placement and time and we hope to also do so this year. If the weather conditions are somewhat reasonable we are expecting to finish in a time starting with 8th this year

Ö till Ö 2015, Foto: JakobEdholm.com

Ö till Ö 2015, Photo: JakobEdholm.com

WoS: What do you look forward to at ÖtillÖ and what do you fear?

TS: Amazing Nature, great trails and most importantly the swimming. We wouldn´t mind even more swimming. The half marathon on Ornö is a part of the race we would rather split in 2 with a 2km swim in between. The previous editions of the race we participated had pretty favourable weather conditions. There is hence somewhat of a fear to 5 degrees and rain. Even though bad weather is maybe not the most enjoyable, one thing favorable for us would be having heavy head wind. We believe we would benefit that being strong swimmers.

WoS: Ok. Great! We look forward to hear from you soon again, to catch up on your training.

TS: Great, talk soon!

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