The new sport of swim-run, originally from Sweden, is building momentum in Europe. The format involves teams of two alternating between trail running and open water swimming on a marked course out in nature. There is no time to lose and athletes run in their wetsuits and swim in their shoes.
Engadin Swimrun in Switzerland was the first swimrun race outside of Scandinavia and is qualifier to the Swimrun World Championship, the prestigious ÖTILLÖ event in the Stockholm archipelago. With its first edition in 2014, Engadin Swimrun built an initial following; and for 11 July 2015, the 180 team spots (two persons per team) were sold out in a few days.
The competitors will be racing a total of 53K on the alpine trails and glacial lakes in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The organizers note that it is quite a site to see athletes running in wetsuits on the beautiful alpine trails high up the mountain!
For the second edition of Engadin Swimrun, the race is held on strenuous alpine trails, between and through beautiful yet glacial cold mountain lakes, and passing the famous alpine village of St Moritz, as well as the picturesque mountain towns of Maloja, Sils, Champfer, to finally finish in Silvaplana.
The total distance of the race course is 53K of which 46.5K involves trail running (in a wetsuit) and 6.5K as open-water swimming through nine glacial cold mountain lakes (in running shoes). The course is further spiced up with around 1,500m of vertical climb!
Engadin Swimrun is seen as a good alpine equivalent and a qualifier to the World Championship of Swimrun, ÖTILLÖ, the original swimrun race in the Stockholm archipelago, considered one of the toughest one-day races in the world.
Commenting on Engadin Swimrun, Silvaplana Tourist Director Menduri Kasper said “We are very happy and proud to host this extraordinary event in the Engadin valley. It fits exactly to the image of Silvaplana: athletic, different and a little crazy! The Engadin Swimrun gives us a unique opportunity to show our region to a new audience.”
Registration to Engadin Swimrun was completed in a few days. Teams representing 21 nations will battle it out for the prestigious win as the top placed teams qualify for a spot at ÖTILLÖ, the Swimrun World Championship, on 7 September.
Swimrun is growing as a sport worldwide and competitors are travelling to Engadin Swimrun from Brazil, USA, Armenia, Morrocco, Central Europe, Russia and of course from Scandinavia, and especially from Sweden where swimrun originates.
Some of the strongest teams in the sport including World Champions Lelle Moberg and Daniel Hansson of Sweden, and last year’s winners in the women’s class, local Natalia Muller (SUI) and Hanna Slotte (SWE), will be on the start line, meeting a strong field of athletes eager to experience the spirit of swimrun racing.
Swimrun is the fast growing sport where you in teams of two alternate trail running and open water swimming. There is no time to lose – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! In all swimrun races you race in teams of two, for security reasons and also to maintain the unique spirit of racing with a teammate.
About ÖTILLÖ – the Swimrun World Championship
ÖTILLÖ is ranked by CNN as one of the toughest endurance races in the world. It is the original swimrun competition with a total of 75K. Teams of two run 65K on 26 islands and swim a total of 10K between them in the Stockholm archipelago in Sweden. This year’s ÖTILLÖ takes place on 7 September 2015. 120 teams will be on the start line. 550 teams are on the waiting list.