An international line up with 23 nationalities will be racing at the inaugural ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar in Croatia, on Sunday 2 April 2017. The organising team ÖTILLÖ notes that some of the best swimrun teams in the world are ready to kick off the 2017 swimrun season at the stunning race course of Hvar, along with over a hundred other international teams, racing in pairs.
ÖTILLÖ Hvar is the first ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series race in 2017. The stakes are high as the first team to cross the finish line will gain the ‘golden bib’, and can take on the challenge to win all ÖTILLÖ World Series events 2017, with prize money of €100,000.
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar is part of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series and a qualifier to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in the Swedish archipelago. The day prior to the race a shorter more accessible race is organised at Hvar, the ÖTILLÖ Sprint Hvar, offering the same flavours as the longer more challenging race but in a smaller format.
The island of Hvar, accessible off the Croatian coast from Split, is billed as an incredible swimrun location and the perfect opening race for the swimrun season. ‘The sea is crystal clear, the water temperature on race day will be around 16°C-17°C and, on a sunny day, air temperatures can climb to 20°C.’ The 45.5km race course is challenging, with almost 35km of trail running, including some vertical climbs and descents, as well as two crossings between the north and south coast of the island.
Racers need to be good swimmers to handle the 10 different swim sections totalling 10.6km, where the longest swim is a brutal 2,950m. ‘Add on some Roman ruins, beautiful architecture, blooming wild flowers, the smell of rosemary, and wonderful people, and this course makes for a great setting.’
Ivan Verunica, Managing Director for INCroatia, a sports and educational travel agency, approached the ÖTILLÖ organisers to hold an event in Croatia. ”When I first heard of ÖTILLÖ less than two years ago, by a swimmer from England, I looked up the company and was absolutely shocked with the discovery. Beyond the sheer physical strain that the racers endure, I was immediately attracted to the camaraderie aspect of competing in tandem, as well as the working-with-nature outline of the sport.”
He continued, “Knowing the Croatian coast quite well, it was hard for me to think of a place that would not be suitable for an ÖTILLÖ race. The sport of swimrun and the beautiful mountainous coast of the clear Adriatic Sea are a match made in heaven. An exciting new chapter in the ÖTILLÖ book will be written in Hvar, Croatia.”
Some of swimrun’s top teams will be taking on the challenge in Hvar. Swimrun world champions and winners of ÖTILLÖ World Series events will be on the start line, as well as athletes from all over the world. The organisers add that ‘Some are veterans of swimrun and some are totally new to the sport, but eager to find out why so many people are so hooked to the unique experience of racing in swimrun.’
The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series is heading for its second season with six qualifier races for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship. Two new events are on their way in 2017; ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar in Croatia, on 2 April, and an event soon to be revealed in November.
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series 2017; six qualifying races to ÖTILLÖ:
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, Croatia, 2 April – first edition
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Utö, Sweden, 28 May
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly, UK, 17 June
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Engadin, Switzerland, 9 July
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes, Germany, 22 Oct (qualifier to ÖTILLÖ 2018)
- ÖTILLÖ Swimrun XX – event to be officially confirmed, Nov 17 (qualifier to ÖTILLÖ 2018) – first edition
At each ÖTILLÖ World Series event a sprint race is organised the previous day. The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship has its 12th edition on 4 September 2017. This race involves 75 km over and between 26 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago, and is renowned as one of the toughest one-day endurance races in the world.