The 2015 Swimrun calendar began on the Swedish island of Utö on Sunday (31 May), with 400 athletes taking on wind, water temps of 8-12°C, waves and some tough running sections.
The race involved a mix of 4.3km open-water swimming in the Baltic sea and 34.7km trail running around the islands of Utö and Ålö, near Stockholm. Up for grabs were qualifying spots for the ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championships on 7 September, with the eight top teams qualifying (top three men, top two women, top three mixed).
Racing in pairs, the men’s race was won by newcomers Nicolas Remires (FRA) and Julian Dent (AUS), who crossed the finish line with a time of 3:56:48. The phenomenal winners of the women’s category Caroline Holmqvist and Kristin Larsson finished almost 15 minutes before the winners in the mixed category Pär Kristoffersson and Fanny Danckwardt-Lillieström, all four from Sweden.
“It worked out just the way we wanted,” said Remires afterwards. “We followed our strategy and kept a steady pace all the way round. We did a lot of recky [course recognition] a couple of weeks prior to the race so we were familiar with the course.
“We really like the swimrun concept, it’s a great team effort, where you race with a friend and stay together from start to finish,” he added. “It’s a fantastic race and the landscape is amazing. We will have full focus on swimrun now!”
1. Nicolas Remires (FRA) and Julian Dent (AUS) 3:56:48
2. Björn Englund (SWE) and Oscar Olsson (SWE) 4:02:45
3. Rasmus Regnstrand (SWE) and Niklas Vallenholm (SWE) 4:04:01
1. Caroline Holmqvist (SWE) and Kristin Larsson (SWE) 4:32:26
2. Annika Ericsson (SWE) and Maria Edstedt (SWE) 4:41:25
3. Charlotta Nilsson (SWE) and Bibben Nordblom (SWE) 4:56:57
1. Pär Kristoffersson (SWE) and Fanny Danckwardt-Lillieström (SWE) 4:45:29
2. Johan Johansson (SWE) and Anna Schlosser (SWE) 4:51:35
3. Sanna Duvebrant (FIN) and Philip Berglöf (SWE) 4:54:50
Final results here.
(Images: Erik Westberg and Nadja Odenhage / Utö Swimrun 15)
Did you tackle the Utö Swimrun? Let us know in the comments below!