Race Report: Åland Swimrun 2017

“I have been to hell and back and let me tell you it was EPIC”

The cold water of the Baltic Sea was not only beginning to affect my judgement, it was in full blossom. I could only think of two things: a hot sauna and “What the hell are we doing here”.

When first I got into the business of running in a wetsuit and swimming in shoes some ten years ago, I had NO clue what I was doing. We were absolute beginners who kind of made up the sport as we went along. As many of you know, many teams used quiet big backpacks and floatation devices designed for kids. The sport of swimrun was literally being born in front of us. The first years of Swimrun offered only one competition: ÖtillÖ, today the world Championship. In fact the sport didn’t even have a name back in the early years. We where just people who liked a good challenge and didn’t care too much about the “strangeness” of running around in the woods with wetsuits. But the spirit of teamwork, nature and of course really hard mental and physical challenges have appealed to many people these last years. The beautiful and sometimes harsh Stockholm Archipelago with its many Islands offers a perfect setting for a spectacular sport. Over the years I have done other swimrun races, but I have always found ÖtillÖ to be the original.

The ingredients for a swimrun should in my humble opinion include: A course from A to B, long and hard swims, technical trail running. Some waves to stir up things.  A good teammate and some epic nature. Swimrun have been a part of my life for almost ten years now. These past years have only consisted of a few swimruns every year to concentrate on the distant cousin: Triathlon.

 

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ÖtillÖ Hvar Swimrun Weekend & Race Report

The inaugural ÖtillÖ Hvar swimrun race was going to be a real challenge. Already on paper the course promised several tough challenges; swimming across a 3km open water stage, running on razor sharp rocks, climbing the many peaks of the islands, all while facing a strong and hot sun. The course was made out of some 35 km of running, nearly 11 k of swimming, with 20 transitions and tight cut-offs. Hvar, a popular destination in Croatia during high-season, seemed as a good place for a tough swimrun race.

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Hvar City Center and Start of the Race

The forecast looked promising with sunny conditions, albeit with a worrying 1-day storm coming in from the south.

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