The team behind ÖtillÖ, the Swedish swimrun World Championship, have today announced exclusively to 220 Triathlon that a UK qualifying event will launch in 2016.
The date for your diary is 18 June 2016 and the location will be the Isles of Scilly, a venue that offers the perfect mix of sea swims and beautiful running terrain that the organisers were looking for. There will be space for 100 teams, with eight qualification spots for ÖtillÖ itself next September up for grabs.
Back in our November issue we reported on the tenth anniversary of ÖtillÖ (meaning ‘island to island’) and on the rise of the swimrun phenomenon, which sees competitors running and swimming across a series of islands while always within 10 metres of a race partner. At the time, adventure racer and organiser Michael Lemmel told 220 they were keen to bring the format to the UK, but that finding the right venue was key.
“The most important three things for us,” Lemmel said, “are to keep our races personal not anonymous, to create awesome races in awesome places and the belief that love makes everyone stronger. Swimrun is natural. We go back to the stone-age mentality of moving through nature as effortlessly as possible and taking care of yourself and your partner.”
The Isles of Scilly are made up of 140 islands (five of which are inhabited), making it the perfect choice for a swimrun race. Don’t think it will be easy though – the race will offer a true test as teams tackle a course close to 45km long, with a minimum of eight swims.
The open-water swim sections will total around 10km and the 35km remaining will be made up of picturesque trail-running over and around the major islands of St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin and Bryher.
“Finally we can bring ÖtillÖ to the UK and thanks to the Isles of Scilly and their hospitality, we will put on an awesome show!” said Mats Skott, Race Director for ÖtillÖ.
Registration opens on 26 November 2015 at 3pm (UK time) for this inaugural race. See www.islesofscillyswimrun.com for more info and visit www.otilloswimrun.com to find out more about the series.
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You can read our reports/see images from ÖtillÖ 2015 here and here.