Island News

Born out of a Drunken Bet, ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Weekend Incoming to Hvar

By 6 February 2018

Simplified, this is a duathlon race, but in a two-person team, alternating between running and swimming along a pre-marked course in nature

Swimrun is the sport that was born from a drunken bet. In 2011 it got the name from Erika Rosenbaum, one of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship podium finishers. It is a team-sport based on two persons travelling through nature and time, completely dependent of each other. The team alternates between running and swimming along a pre-marked course in nature; it can be between islands or between lakes.

In 2002 Anders Malm, his friend Janne Lindberg and some of his staff had a late night in a bar in Sweden. They challenged each other – “Last team of two to Sandhamn pays for hotel, dinner and drinks”. Two teams of two started the next morning with the only rule being that they had to pass the three different restaurants on the islands between the start and the finish. The last team at the restaurant had to drink and pay what the team ahead of them had ordered for them. It took them more than 24 hours and they were too tired to party on arrival. They tried again the year after with the same result. They are called the Original 4.

In 2006 Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott were asked if they could make a commercial race out of their crazy challenge. The first couple of years only 11 teams started and only two managed to finish within the time limits. Then something happened and the teams learned that the only way to race is by not stopping, with constant movement. Today the race is internationally recognized as the SWIMRUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and has been ranked by CNN as one of the toughest races in the World.

On April 7 and 8, the Swimrun Weekend is coming to Hvar for the first time. Here is what the organizers have to say about the new location: “We have found the ideal location for an early race and for a race in the Mediterranean. Croatia and Hvar is a dream come true location. We are proud to kick-off the European swimrun season and welcome you the ÖTILLÖ Hvar Swimrun Weekend. The island is magnificent, surrounded by emerald-colored seas and the exceptional Paklinski islands to the south. Hvar is known to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Just one hour off the mainland city of Split makes the ferry ride a perfect place to relax into the island vibe.”

You can find more info and register here.

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