The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun series has established its first race in the USA. Launching the 15th season of swimrun, which originated in Sweden, ÖTILLÖ is presenting ÖTILLÖ Catalina. Its first race in America is scheduled to take place on February 28th to March 1st, 2020.
Santa Catalina Island is situated 40km off the coast of Los Angeles in southern California. ÖTILLÖ adds that the island is a ‘conservancy-protected, geologic and environmental phenomenon’.
There are two port towns on Catalina Island, Two Harbors with a population of 100, and, 25 km southeast, the Mediterranean-style seaside village of Avalon. There aren’t even stoplights in this 2-sqm town where the 3,000 local residents, much like Isles of Scilly, depend on electric golf carts to get around, or walk. ‘Everything is close in Avalon, and there’s accommodation (boutique hotels to AirBnB) and dining for every taste and budget.’
Two Harbors is where all of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun race courses will start and finish; but race participants, families and spectators will stay in Avalon during the race weekend. There will be all-day, round-trip boat transportation between the two port towns.
The easiest way to travel from Europe, involves a flight into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Ground transportation to the closest ferry terminal, St Pedro, then goes to Avalon.
“This race will be very special,” said Michael Lemmel, Race Director ÖTILLÖ & co-founder of Swimrun. “It is a dream come true to finally be able to establish an ÖTILLÖ race in America. It is the right timing to be able to support the growth of Swimrun in the US. All because of a drunken bet!”
Racers in all three distances – Experience (7.7 km), Sprint (15 km) and World Series (38.3 km), which start and finish at the port town of Two Harbors – will get a glimpse of spectacular coastal chaparral and crystal-clear waters home to plant and wildlife species found nowhere else on earth.
The average island air temperature between January and April is around 16°C, and the water is 12-14°C. Registration for the races will open in early July 2019.