NOT ALL GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN – Team Kattegatt goes to Norway

Not all goes according to plan.

This was the summer when we were supposed to swim the crossing of the Kattegatt strait. However, summer has passed and we have not yet crossed the Kattegatt. When we were preparing for this adventure, we knew that it would be difficult and that many aspects had to be just right in order for this to work. Not all was just right when we attempted.

The reasons for our failure were mainly two – water temperatures and wind. We made three attempts, the first time in beginning of July the water temperatures in the open ocean were still too low, only around 13 degrees. This made us reconsider and practice along the coastline in northern Bohuslän instead.

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The two following times, which were in August the wind picked up to 9-15 m/s which creates massive waves and risk of us loosing contact with our guide boat. Something we did not want to happen. It really is a tough decision not to go when you have been longing to do something for a long time. But safety had to come first. We both have kids and we have a responsibility to them not to put ourselves in unnecessary danger. We will come back though, have no doubt. We WILL cross the Kattegatt.

Once we look back at the season we are still happy with it. We have done some amazing races which we have utterly enjoyed. We have raced Borås Swimrun, GBG Swimrun, Öloppet and the queen of all swimruns Swimrun Norway – To the worlds end. A truly stunning race. Here follows a short RR of this spectacular race.

Swimrun Norway – to the worlds end (previously known as Xterra swimrun Norway) Takes place just south of Tönsberg on the west side of the Oslo Fjord. The start takes place on Ringshaugsstrand in the early morning at 5 o’clock. This means that the alarm went off at 0230am, when I t felt as if I had just closed my eyes. I woke with a good feeling and so did Fredrik and our friends Pontus Flingdal and Bruce Björnholm of Runners World Swimrun Norway, with whom we shared cabin. We jumped onto the starting bud at 0345 with all the starting teams. In the bus you can almost touch the tension of everyone as they go through the mental maps of the coming 55 k run and 9 k swims in their heads. This was our 3d start of this great race so we at least knew the map. But every race is new and you never know what will happen.

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At 05 o’clock the gun goes off and 60 something teams from 11 countries head off into the darkness. After 3 k with pacing we come to the first swim. It’s still dark and you aim at the light beam of a lighthouse marking your first water exit. The water is nice, some 20 degrees. We enjoy some powerful swimming and swim alongside our friends Fredrik and Trine Vedvik, who will happen to win the mix class. We pass over some beautiful islands as the sun rises in the east and the full moon looks down on us from the west. It is a truly spectacular sight.

In this race 50 % of all swimming is in the first third of the race. We are good in the water and as we pass the second aid station we are in place 11, which we are quite happy with. We have a goal for the day. To go under 9 hrs. 20 minutes. Something we have never done before. But the day is good to us. Even though it is hot and the sun is shining down on our neoprene clad torsos we are loving it. We eat one k at a time. The feeling of utter happiness fills my body when we pass places in good speed where I know we have struggled hard previous years.

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The hours pass 5, 6, 7 hours. It’s still a good speed but it’s getting heavier. In this race we have a love hate relationship with a certain island called Hvasser. It is long run around the island. But once it is done we face the final swim and know that after that it is only a 7 k run left. If it wasn’t for the Torås Fort. The evil, yet genius race director and legend Tom Remman has placed a check in point on top of a fort sitting high up on a mountain top.

He claims the view is great from there, however I have never had the energy to look at it as I was there. As we are down again we look at our watches and get startled. We will make our goal and not only that we will go under 9 hrs. We give it our everything and speed up the last 3 k into the little opening in the rock that leads us to the spectacular goal at Verdens Ende – The worlds end. The clock shows 8 hrs. 47 minutes. We did it and more. And the best thing for the first time we beat our long time swimrunfriends of Swimrunshop.com MajBritt and Sören and thus they owe us each a beer.

The race of the year – if you haven’t tried it. Do it.