Freshly back from a seventh position in the mixed class at the world series in Hvar we had a strong longing for comeback – we had lost several places to strong running teams since the swim – our strongest branch had been shortened due to bad weather conditions. It nevertheless resulted in a fantastic race which also happened to be Linneas very first swimrun race!
So we did not need to think twice about entering the Xterra Furesö in Denmark on the 28th of may. Since the winter training as featured in primalcoaching.se has shown to be highly effective and on the spot. We felt strong and were looking forward to a great race in Denmark. Meanwhile Linneas sore knee worried us a little and the major part of her running was spent – on a bike! luckily two weeks prior to race day she was symptom free and we could focus on a race plan.
Xterra Furesö was a nearby race with only a twenty minutes ferry ride and a thirty minute or so drive from Helsingborg. The proximity allowed us to sleep in the comfort of our homes and not have to spend half the night driving to race start or sleeping in hotels. The organisation was perfect and one and a half hour prior to start we were checked in at the simple race location Furesö.
Compared to the bigger racing events in the world series or to the well organised races in Sweden but nevertheless well arranged and despite our poor danish all our last questions were answered and our last worries dissolved at the races briefing.
As the start went off a greater number of competing teams sped along. We had already decided to stick to our plan which meant that we were going to keep our racing speed. We were team number ten at the first swim. Our arms felt strong and we quickly found our pace. We steadily picked up on the teams ahead one by one. And we made it to the first 4,4km run as team number three. The tall and dense forest shielded us nicely from the heat and we found our race rhythm and worked our way into the pack when a male team suddenly passed us looking mean.
I (Andre) still felt confident about the races development. And as the swimming and running took us through beautiful hilly terrain we found out that we were in fourth place thanks to our strong swimming!
Halfway through the race and just before the longest 1300m swim, we realised that team number three only was 100m ahead of us in the water! We plowed on through the water and stuck to our plan – 400 m later and we were abreast and beyond the strong male team! we swam on not quite sure of our direction since we couldn’t see the way up. We even had to stop and check. Nevertheless when we reached the transition we realised that the male team was now way behind us in our wake! Pumped up with confidence we hit the ground running and looked forward to the 5,5km run.
That side of the lake was completely different terrain. Sleek, winding mesmerising forest trails meant we could keep a steady strong stride. At this point Linnea cried out “I feel my knee!”. I barked “ you can start feeling at the finish! Just do it!” And we made it! We stamped on and kept checking over our shoulders where possible to see where the others were so they weren’t taking in on us.
Yet another long swim was waiting ahead and on the bridge a danish official told us to swim towards the little black cabin… I shouted: “Where?!?” 1200m across the water was lush green forest and without my glasses there was no way I could see anything remotely like a cabin!!! Linnea points straight ahead and shouts: “there!” I took mark on a tall tree, jump in relying on my strong sense of direction since I’m good at swimming straight. Knowing that only two very short swims and a fast run were between us and victory I gave it everything I had. 1200m later we strode out of the water just beneath a smallish black cabin…
We were able to maintain our stride and finished as winners of the Mixed Team class and as total third behind Ted Ås and Oskar Olsson! Our feelings at the Finnish line were those of: we did it! We took our revenge! Linnea won her very first swim run on her second race ever!! Well now she did it with the help of her coach and just as proud team mate!
Now awaits focused training before the next race “kustjagaren” in Karlskrona where we will meet strong competitors in the Mixed Class – this will be truly be a thriller! About the Xterra Furesö race: an incredibly beautiful race with nice swims and great runs well arranged by only a handful of effective officials who made for a successful race day.
We can definitely recommend this race and hope to see more Swedish teams on race day next year!
Andre Fält and Linnea Olausson from Team primalcoaching.se