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ST: What was the hardest part?
George: Day two the first couple of islands turned out to be even more time consuming than we had calculated. We were aware that there wouldn’t be any trails but had underestimated just how tough the terrain was - hilly and with dense undergrowth. Navigating those islands was by far the hardest part. Also the sky opened up with heavy rain and strong winds that continued throughout the day. We missed our targeted time by 2-3 hours.
ST: What did you do in terms of course safety?
George: We had one safety boat with us on all of the swim sections. There were also always some people on the boat that could help out in different ways, making sure we kept warm when we stopped for refueling, filling up soft flasks and got the gels, bars and hot food etc when needed.
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ST: What did you do in terms of nutrition on those days, before, during and after?
George: Nutrition wise we had pretty much a breakfast buffet each morning at 3:30 to 4:00 am with yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, bread and coffee etc. We then also prepared at least two 0.5 liter soft flasks with sport drinks and another 1.5 liter mixed to have ready on the boat. We also each prepared a thermos with hot water. That all of us did so was crucial to minimize longer stops and stay on the targeted time. Apart from the scheduled stops there was no room for individual stops if it meant we had to wait, cause we wouldn't. Basically Pontus and I were always carrying energy to last us 3 to 4 hours, for example 1 liter sport drinks, 8-10 gels and 1 bar. The sport drinks from Vitargo, gels and bars from Clif Bar. We also carried salt tablets, caffeine pills and aspirin. In that same interval we also for the most part had hot food once, freeze-dried food - Blå Band from Addnature and hence the thermos with hot water. Once done for the day we had a proper dinner pre-ordered from local restaurants and then went to bed. At best we got about 4-5 hrs of sleep per night.
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ST: How did folks who only did shorter segments get to that spot and back?
George: They never needed to go back, they just got on the boat when they were done. Also they needed to be ready in the water or on land for that section when we got in or up. The plan depended on us being able to just keep going and never having to wait for anyone. There simply wasn’t any time for that.
ST: How about you? What did you do about transportation?
George: Once we started in Arholma Pontus and I never set foot on the boat until we were done and left Landsort.
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ST: How did your feet hold up? People new to the sport always wonder about running in wet shoes so long. We know it works for 65k of running and 10K of swimming, but likely has not been done 3 days in a row?
George: No real issues during the event itself but at least my feet were pretty swollen the days after. I have some big cuts and cracks in the arch of my left foot bothering me but I'm not sure it is due to the wet shoes or because of the distance itself. Both of us have had the most issues with a lot of cuts from thorns, bushes and tall grass on our ankles from all the trail running and bush whacking. I didn't see it as a big problem then but every little cut could lead to a small infection.
ST: Talk about the gear you and Pontus used over those 3 days?
George: As for gear, we both used the My Boost Pro Aero SwimRun suit from Head. For the long swim on day 3 (Danzige Gatt) we used the Head X-tream wetsuit. Underneath we used the B2 Function vest with storage for soft flasks and energy. For cold swims we also used the My Boost FX vest on top of the SwimRun suit. As for GPS watches - we have our old ones Fenix 5X ones from Garmin.
Sponsors for the journey were:
- HEAD Swimming
- Access Rehab
- Clif Bar Sweden
- Carly's Natural
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The boat driver:
- Pehr Westman
The other Kraken Epic SwimRun group and crew:
- Thomas Ogander
- Pär Kristoffersson
- Joakim Axelsson
- Fredrik Åström
- Kristin Larsson
- Annika Ericsson
- Ludvig Myrenberg
- Fredrik Granström