So, why do you willingly enrol in a race that takes place, in Sweden… in December?
Well. I really don’t have a good answer for this except for being part of something epic-in-creation. I did my 1st swimrun back in 2009, ÖtillÖ, a race at the time unheard of and subjected to all kinds of adventures. It suited us who liked taking on unknown challenges and to sort out problems as they came along. Sharing the feeling with friends, the sense of camaraderie and being part of something undefined and epic. The Hellas Frostbite Swimrun Race is very much like this. It’s new and unheard of and you really don’t know what to expect. I did the 1st race in 2015 and that year it was more correct to call it the Hellas semi-Frosbite race since it was plus few degrees and no snow nor ice. This year it was totally different. Forecast was for -6, snow, winds and an expected ice sheet covering the lake. A true Frostbite challenge.
Next week the much dreaded Hellas Frostbite Swimrun race takes place, a winter swimrun in Stockholm, Sweden. We know for a fact that the organizers have prepared for the worst. If the ice will be to thick to break, they will saw their way through and create an ice channel for the racers to swim in.
Brrr. It doesnt get much colder than this.
To prepare for the race, have a look at our guide below, on what to think of when doing a cold swimrun race.
/The WoS Team
Today we talk with our WoS expert Nic. Nic is a PhD student in public health sciences at Karolinska Institutet, also working as an expert investigator at the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the national government authority with responsibility for public health issues.
Hi Nic and thanks for taking the time to talk to us at WoS. You are a swimrunner with vast experience, having done your fair share of races and adventures in difficult and cold conditions?
Nic: Hi and thanks for having me. Yes, I started swimrunning already in 2008 when preparing for my first ÖtillÖ race in 2009. We have a house along the ÖtillÖ route so I’ve spent my upbringing running on these islands and I’ve been windsurfing the area for many years, so I know my way around.
Nice, given your expert opinion, what should a swimrunner think about before hitting the cold water.
Winter training for swimrunners is difficult in countries with freezing conditions and impossible if there is ice cover. However, instead of simply heading indoors for swim training, there is an alternative that feels like the natural winter substitute – Skate-running! Same idea as swimrun, same land and water transitions, just use skates instead. Run between point A-B and skate across the lakes on the way. Although perfect winter conditions for this are rare in many countries, in most northern European countries it should be possible. And it should definitely be attractive to the Dutch who are avid skaters. Sweden has a very favorable environment for tour skating in the parts of the country where it is cold enough to get thick ice, but warm enough to prevent the skating possibilities to be ruined by snow. Continue reading “SkateRun – the optimal winter substitute for swimrunners with abstinence?”→