The ÖtillÖ SwimRun Isles of Scilly on the coast of Cornwall is the third stop of the World Series, and for the first time an American mixed team managed a podium spot, and an American male team also featured well. Brookline, Massachusetts based Bronwen Price-Dierksen and her husband Greg Dierksen, with the clever team name Boston Wet Sox, had previously done well in US events, but it is very different to face the experienced European squads. Undeterred, the Dierksens proved that the US SwimRun sport is coming along strong and they stormed to 2nd place in the mixed division and 9th place overall. The male Ödyssey SwimRun team with Lars Finanger and John Stevens was at the front of the race for the first 1.5 hours, but when Stevens got dizzy and threw up, the team started to drift back and a new goal emerged. They still managed a very respectable 19th place overall.
This World Series race had attracted 116 teams from 20 different countries. They tackled a 37.25km course with 8 swim sections totaling 8.35km and 9 runs adding up to 28.92km. A day earlier teams and individuals tackled the shorter Sprint and Experience options. These shorter distances are available at all ÖtillÖ World Series events, plus most other races now offer at least a team Sprint option, something meant to encourage less experienced folks to want to get their feet wet.
The sun came out on race morning and it made for a great day in this stunning setting.
The French Envol Coaching team with Nicolas Remires and Julien Pousson set the early running pace with Americans Lars Finanger and John Stevens hot on their heels.
Swedes Anna Hellström and Susie Moonan of Team Envol managed to score another win, but early on it was still tight together.
Gregory and Bronwen Price-Dierksen in action and swimming well, but the two Americans could not catch the winning French team.
The Envol Coaching team got in trouble fairly early with Pousson getting very cold, but they were determined to finish - and did so.
There is not much to say here other than - sign up already!
The French team of Abraham Thibault and Robinson Azzis focused on the way to the next swim and 14th placed overall.
Tourists, family and friends were entertained by wetsuit clad athletes.
Swedes Anneli Wall and Jenny Ramstedt of team Head Swimming on the way to second place in the female division.
Pro triathlete Lucy Gossage attempted her first SwimRun race in the mixed division with partner Laurence Hulatt and they placed 9th. After the race she spoke fondly of this experience.
“As someone who calls herself a poor swimmer I never thought I would have such an amazing time in a swim dominant event. SwimRun has to be one of the craziest yet most exciting sports I’ve done. I think anyone who looks at the map of what we did yesterday will think ‘that looks cool’. But it’s not just swimming and running. It’s the whole team tactics (in the top teams the male tows the female on a tether for the swim and the run), the kit selection (pretty much anything goes), the working as a team, the informality, the friendliness, the sense of exploration rather than racing and the learning to get in and out of the sea over rocks without falling!”
3 female teams battling for a spot in tight quarters.
The landscape is challenging and beautiful.
As the race settles, teams spread out nicely and are alone with nature.
The defending World Champions Fredrik Axegård and Alexander Flores were patient and near the front all day.
Americans John Stevens and Lars Finanger in action - likely one of the fastest teams in the water that day.
But what goes in must come out. This is one of 8 swim exits.
The Isles of Scilly race is among the most swim-heavy events in this series.
The World Champions finally back on top after some setbacks earlier this year.
Results ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly
1. Fredrik Axegård and Alexander Flores (SWE) Team Ark Swimrun
2. Guillaume Heneman and Franck Martin (FRA) Team HEAD Gravelines Tri
3. Andy Blow and James Philips (UK) Team Precision Hydration
1. Anna Hellström and Susie Moonan (SWE) Team Envol
2. Anneli Wall and Jenny Ramstedt (SWE) Head Swimming
3. Lauren Vickery and Robyn Cassidy (UK) Butch Cassidy & the Stumpy Pig
1. Eugenie Plane and Matthieu Poullain (FRA) Team MAT
2. Bronwen Price- Dierksen and Gregory Dierksen (USA) Boston Wet Sox
3. Aintzane Argaiz Castro and Ciro Tobar Ortiz de Urbana (ESP) Team Vibike - Head - 226ers
All images © Pierre Mangez / ÖtillÖ