Is Lance Armstrong planning an ÖtillÖ debut in 2018? That’s certainly the suggestion on his Strava account, which this week has a session logged under the description ‘ÖtillÖ Training’.
Spotted by the Editor of our sister magazine ProCycling, the session shows Armstrong covering 6.8 miles around the Colorado River area of Austin on 24th April, with an average moving pace of 07:05/mile. See the session here.
ÖtillÖ (meaning ‘island to island’) is the Swedish originator of the sport of swimrun, which is increasing in popularity within the triathlon community. Armstrong famously competed in several triathlons before being banned from competitive sport following his doping confession.
His ban was lifted in 2016 but he has so far not returned to multisport, although he did win a 35km trail running race in California in 2015 which would indicate he would be a strong competitor. Any return to multisport is bound to polarise opinion however.
We contacted Lance Armstrong this morning and are waiting for a response. We also contacted one of the ÖtillÖ race directors, Michael Lemmel, who this morning told us that he has no further knowledge of Armstrong’s plans. We haven’t spotted him on any ÖtillÖ start lists either, although with most of the season ahead, there’s still plenty of time for him to enter one of the World Series races and the mention of ÖtillÖ on his training log seems to indicate a clear intent.
ÖtillÖ sees competitors race across trails and swim between islands, in conditions that are beautiful yet tough. Image: Pierre Mangez/ÖtillÖ
If Armstrong has his sights set on the ÖtillÖ World Championship race in Sweden in September, which comprises 65km of technical trail running and 10km of tough sea swimming, then he will need to qualify.
With the director’s choice spots already chosen, he would either need to qualify by winning an ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series race, accumulate points through merit races, or participate in seven races in 24 months (five ÖtillÖ and two merit races).
We’ll keep you posted with any further updates on this story. In the meantime, what do you think? Would you want to see Lance Armstrong race ÖtillÖ? If so, who do you think would make a good swimrun partner for him? Post your comments below: