The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in Sweden’s Stockholm archipelago is the original race of the rapidly emerging sport of swimrun. The 12th edition of the race will take place on Monday 4 September with 300 athletes lined up for the challenge. The 150 teams of two from across the globe will travel by foot and through water for 75km across the archipelago.
Participating athletes will run and swim over and between 26 islands in the Baltic Sea. As the organising team point out, ‘ÖTILLÖ is a gruelling, spectacular race, known as one of the toughest one-day races in the world, and leaves no one unaffected.’
The race will be broadcast live on Monday 4 September from 05:45 CET on otilloswimrun.com/live.
The Stockholm archipelago consists of over 24 000 islands. Athletes at the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2017 will cross one of the most beautiful parts, from the sailing mecca of Sandhamn to the ‘island of love’, Utö. They run on and swim to the big islands of Runmarö, Nämdö and Ornö with small year-round communities. Here, they will encounter summer homes and uninhabited islands.
ÖTILLÖ, meaning ‘island to island’ in Swedish, is positioned as a unique race in a unique environment and has become one of the most prestigious endurance races in the world. It all started 12 years ago with the conception of ÖTILLÖ, ‘originating from a crazy idea and a bet in the bar between four friends!’
The course is hard; and it is long. Rough trails, rocks and cold, sometimes rough swims are on the menu. At its inception in 2006 the race winners finished in around 12 hours. The second team after 14h 30. No more than nine starting teams finished. Since then – performance, experience and speed has been stepped quite dramatically as athletes, in teams of two, have better prepared themselves for a tough day’s racing.
For 2017 there are numerous strong teams in the starting line-up: Olympians, swimrun champions, triathlon champions, elite trail runners and so on. Current course record holder Lelle Moberg is injured; his team partner Daniel Hansson will race with a new team mate yet to be revealed, and the fastest time down the course is up for grabs. Last year’s impressive winners in the mixed and women’s categories, Eva Nyström (SWE) and Adriel Young (AUS), and Kristin Larsson (SWE) and Annika Ericsson (SWE), are back to defend their World Champion titles… ‘but there is a whole armada of strong teams that will chase them down to the last minute of the long course.’
A release from ÖTILLÖ added…
Let’s see what 2017 will have in store. Nature itself is a strong component to the race, including the fact that weather and wind are also interesting factors to defining the speed on the course. One thing is for certain, swimrun athletes are increasing in numbers all over the world, they are becoming more and more experienced, competition is getting harder and harder and speed is accelerating. If conditions are right we can once again expect some mind blowing times around this amazing, but extremely tough course!