Interview: Annika Ericsson – A true champ!

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A strong competitor with loads of podiumpositions is this ironlady some extra special. Started her carrier with hours and weeks in the pool at young years, has now developed to be something outstanding. Here is Annika Ericsson!

Tell me about you´re background as a swimrunner?

I did my first swimrun race in 2012, which was Ångaloppet. That was followed by ÖtillÖ the same year. The goal with ÖtillÖ was only to try and manage to finish and I had never done such a long race before so I was quite nervous. The race together with Fredrik Selmered was just absolutely amazing and we had such a good time that we continued another season 2013 and surprisingly won ÖtillÖ that year.

In 2014 I started to compete together with Maria Edstedt in Team Surfspot and we did almost all races you could do in 2014 and 2015 with really good results. Unfortunately Maria injured her foot in 2015 just before ÖtillÖ that I had to pick a new team-mate a few days before the race. Luckily I found Maja Tesch and we had a great race together and won! This year I have tried new races such as Scilly Island SR and Engadin SR and competing with different team-mates, which have been a lot of fun as well!

Best memory so far for racing?
This is hard because there are so many! To pick one I guess this year ÖtillÖ together with Kristin is one of the best achievements so far. We managed to stay strong all the way through and crushed the new record in almost one hour! We thought 10 hour would be possible but to almost reach 9.30 was never in our minds.

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Futureplans?

Right now I am focusing on the 1000Lakes race in Germany, which is the last one for this season. Then I will rest before I can start thinking of next year. I am sure I would like to do some races and there are some new exciting ones coming up like ÖtillÖ in Croatia. However, I will see what will motivate me to be a 6th time on the starting line for the world championship.

Tell me more about you´re swimming background?

I started to swim when I was 5 years old and loved it so much that I joined the swimming club in Linköping. We trained really hard with many hours in the pool already at a young age. I swam my first quarter marathon (10.6 km) when I was 9 years old. My best distance was 800 m freestyle and I guess that is why the long swims in swimrun fit me perfectly! I stopped swimming when I was 14 years old because I had a hard time motivating me with that hard training. I was close to qualify to JSM but never got better than that.

You have raced with diffrent buddies through the years, what skills do you prefer the most?

That we are having fun together and despite hard times a positive spirit is kept all the time!

Do you have a bucketlist of races you like to do? In case which ones and why?

Rockman is one race I would love to do because it seems tuff and challenging but very beautiful at the same time. Any new race is always exciting and I will keep my eyes open for what is coming up out there for next year.

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Text: Daniel Becker

Photo: Jakob Edholm and Nadja Odenhage from Ö till Ö World championships