The ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championships course in Sweden is super tough and the weather is often unpredictable, but 160 teams from 25 countries tackled this 65km running and 10km swimming event this year. That meant crossing 26 islands in the Stockholm archipelago with the fastest male teams staying under 8 hours, and some of the last finishing teams crossing the line in just under 14 hours, but only 14 teams did either not finish or were cut from the race. Several North American teams ventured to Sweden for this coveted experience and Gregory Dierksen and Bronwen Price-Dierksen of team Boston Wet Sox were the highest placed team among them and they finished 6th in the mixed division in 9:31:45.
Early on rain greeted the athletes and while this was not likely desired by most of the teams, the resulting swimming conditions favored better swimmers.
Stefano Prestinoni and Peter Aronsson of team Swimshop.se put some daylight between them and the other teams early on, and were first into T1. Eventually these 2 Swedes finished 7th overall in 8:29:21
The entrances and exits are often very slippery and the rain was not helping here, plus lots of teams arriving at the same team made for quite a show.
On tricky terrain athletes have to be moving carefully and this early there is a bit of a traffic jam. But the day is long and early haste makes waste.
With the eyes on the swim exit, and casually the massive ARK buoy apparently still placed on the back.
Swedes Fanny Danckwardt and Desirée Andersson of Team Envol took charge early on in the women's race and stormed to the win with a superb time of 9:05:29.
Sliding on the butt into the water for the next swim section is possibly not the most graceful way to enter the water, but it surely beats slipping and injuring yourself. Anneli Wall and Jenny Ramstedt of team HEAD Swimming are experienced Swimrun athletes, and they finished the race in 10:15:49. That was 51st place overall and 10th place in the female division.
With 10km of total swimming spread out over 25 swims in this event there is plenty of water for everyone.
Many athletes mark the distances of the event onto their paddles, as a reminder what is still to come on this long day out.
Team ARK Swimrun with Norwegian Knut Baadshaug and Swiss Diane Sadik led the mixed division for a long time and were well in the top 10 overall, but they faded at the end and finished 3rd in the mixed division and 17th overall with a time of 9:01:28.
The men's race was very tight and here Pontus Lindberg of Team ATG Sport is seen leading team mate George Bjälkemo, the defending champions Fredrik Axegård and Alex Flores of Team ARK Swimrun and Lars Ekman and Jonas Ekman Fischer of the Sailfish team Bröderna Bäver out of the water late in the race.
Oscar Olsson and Kenny Meijer of the O2 Extreme Team / hives.co were dropped from that front group but still managed a superb 4th place in 8:05:07.
When the sun came out the scenery was simply stunning and made for great images.
The French team of Eric Berruer and François Fontaine cruising through the woods on the way to a 10:19:29 time.
Should I swim or should I wait? Usually it is best to just go.
Swedes Charlotte Eriksson and Simon Börjeson of Team Garmin charged into the lead of the mixed division late in the race, and managed 9th place overall in 8:38:10.
George Bjälkemo and Pontus Lindberg got away in the end and held on to the win in 7:47:48
The defending champions Fredrik Axegård and Alex Flores were strong but had to settle for the runner-up spot in 7:50:14.
Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven of team Say No To Doping finished second in the mixed division.
This race is making me so thirsty.
Results 2019 ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Chmpionships
Sweden, September 2, 2019
1. Pontus Lindberg and George Bjälkemo (SWE) 7:47:48
2. Fredrik Axegård and Alex Flores (SWE) 7:50:14
3. Lars Ekman and Jonas Ekman Fischer (SWE) 7:55:10
1. Charlotte Eriksson and Simon Börjeson (SWE) 8:38:10
2. Jasmina Glad-Schreven and Thomas Schreven (FIN) 8:47:31
3. Diane Sadik (SUI) and Knut Baadshaug (NOR) 9:01:28
1. Fanny Danckwardt and Desirée Andersson (SWE) 9:05:29
2. Susie Moonan and Anna Hellström (SWE) 9:27:31
3. Isabella Hedberg and Helen Wikmar (SWE) 9:32:37
Images 1, 2, 7, 9, 14 © Pierre Mangez / ÖtillÖ
Images 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 © Jakob Edholm / ÖtillÖ