The sport of swimrun is rapidly gaining in popularity and no less than 150 teams of two from 15 nationalities took on the first Swimrun competition of the year, Utö Swimrun in the Swedish archipelago. Utö Swimrun is a qualifier for ÖTILLÖ, one of the toughest one-day races in the world. The competitors raced a total of 35 km with four km swimming in 8-13 degrees water and 31 km trail running in the fantastic nature around the island of Utö in the Stockholm archipelago. The 2013 ÖTILLÖ-winner Björn Englund and partner Marcus Hultgren proved again to be hard to catch and the team beat last year’s winning time with almost 15 minutes.
”We did a perfect race. We did everything we were supposed to do and kept on gaining on the teams behind. The first swim was a bit of a shock, it was really cold but then you just go on. Vi love the long trail runs when you’re up in the forest on small trails and that is what we’re best at,” said winners Björn Englund and Marcus Hultgren (Team Head Swimming) after the finish line. Björn Englund is the reigning world champion in swimrun as he won the ÖTILLÖ 2013.
As Utö Swimrun is a qualifier to ÖTILLÖ, competition was tough among the 300 competitors. In the leading pack you could see a whole lot of former winners of the prestigious ÖTILLÖ. Second and third team over the finish line were almost tied with less than a minute apart, tightly followed by the first lady and first non-Swedish team, the mixed team from Finland / Holland, ironman veterans Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven. It was their first swimrun race but they will be doing more of it!
”It was really fun! There is a bit of everything: slippery rocks, trails deep in the forest, dirt roads and cold water. It is hard to look around when you focus but you cannot miss this amazing landscape! It is so beautiful. Even if it is tough you actually get lots of energy from the beautiful nature and all the great people,” said Jasmina Glad-Schreven after the race.
The race course is not considered too long by the top teams but the pace is high. You swim 14 different swims from 40 to 480 metres. The running distances are longer, including slippery rocks, tight passages in the forest, gravel and dirt roads and beautiful trails. You run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes…
Sweden’s biggest rap artist Petter took on the challenge and was really motivated at the finish line. “I’ve done some pretty tough sport challenges and marathons like the New York Marathon, but nothing compares to this! It is an unreal adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am proud and happy to live in such an amazing place,” said the iconic singer, whose goal is to finish the ÖTILLÖ on September 1st.
Swimrun is growing rapidly as a sport. In Scandinavia there are almost 30 competitions and among endurance athletes internationally the sport is gaining in popularity.
The next big swimrun challenge and qualifier to ÖTILLÖ will take place outside Scandinivia at Engadin in Switzerland, Engadin Swimrun, July 12th. 100 teams will run and swim this first edition on a tough course in and between the freezing cold alpine lakes in the beautiful Swiss Alps.
Top 3 results Utö Swimrun, 31 May, 2014
1. Björn Englund (SWE) & Marcus Hultgren (SWE)
2. Klas Wiréhn (SWE) & Henrik Wahlberg (SWE)
3. Kalle Torlén (SWE) & Rickard Ohlsson (SWE)
1. Annika Ericsson (SWE) & Maria Edstedt (SWE) 03:46:11
2. Charlotta Nilsson (SWE) & Bibben Nordblom (SWE) 03:53:07
3. Eva Fridman (SWE) & Maria Frånlund (SWE) 04:07:23
1. Jasmina Glad-Schreven (NED) & Thomas Schreven (NED) 03:25:49
2. Mikaela Waller (SWE) & Mattias Frithiof (SWE) 03:46:15
3. Janne Blomqvist (FIN) & Selja Aalto (FIN) 03:48:53
See complete result list here: http://utoswimrun.r.mikatiming.de/2014/?pid=list
Image courtesy Jakob Edholm or Nadja Odenhage / Utö Swimrun 2014/ ÖTILLÖ