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ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Series Launches Its First Race Weekend in America.

Press Release / 10.01.2020
Racing the Otillo Swimrun World Series
Racing the Otillo Swimrun World Series / © Pierre Mangez / Otillo Swimrun

For all of you endurance and adventure junkies out there, this is the new frontier!

15 years ago, on the island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm Archipelago (Sweden) nine teams of two took the start of the first ÖTILLÖ ("island to island" in Swedish). They were to run and swim over and between 24 islands; a total of 65 km of trail-running and 10 km of open water- swimming. Two teams finished.

It was the start of the sport of Swimrun. Since then it has grown with leaps and bounds with more than 700 races world-wide, it has become a >50-million dollar industry and it is an established sport in Europe.

In North America the sport is beginning to grow with several race organisations leading the way. Now, ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Series launches its first- ever race weekend in America.


To launch our 15th season of Swimrun we are very proud and honored to be able to present ÖTILLÖ Catalina. Our first race in America in a very special location to be held on February 28th/ March 1st, 2020.

Racers in all three distances—EXPERIENCE (8 km), SPRINT (15 km) and WORLD SERIES (38 km), which start and finish in the small town of Two Harbors—will get a glimpse of spectacular coastal chaparral and crystal-clear waters home to plant and wildlife species found nowhere else on earth.

Saturday, February 29th is the day for the EXPERIENCE and SPRINT distances. These races you can either do in a team of two or solo. They are fun and accessible to everyone where the SPRINT is a bit more challenging.

On Sunday, March 1st it is time for the WORLD SERIES race. A qualifier to the World Championship and a major undertaking for endurance junkies!

The average island air temperature between January and April is around 16°C, and the water is 12 - 14°C.

Read more about the races:

"This race will be very special. It is a dream come true to finally be able to establish an ÖTILLÖ race in America. It is the right timing to be able to support the growth of Swimrun in the US." - Michael Lemmel, Race Director ÖTILLÖ & co-founder of Swimrun.


In the EXPERIENCE and SPRINT distances we see people from all walks of life, from elite to beginners. People who want to be part of this exciting and adventurous sport and community. 

In the WORLD SERIES distance you need to be able to manage the distance, with your team mate. You are used to running and swimming over long periods of time and you are ready to be challenged!

In the WORLD SERIES you will find endurance sports affecionados, World champions and those looking for a new adventure!


Santa Catalina Island is a unique place just 40 km off the coast of Los Angeles in southern California. Catalina Island is a conservancy-protected, geologic and environmental phenomenon.

There are two port towns on Catalina Island, Two Harbors with a population of 100, and, 25 km southeast, the Mediterranean-style seaside village of Avalon. No more than 3000 people live year-round in Avalon. Everything is close in Avalon, and there is accommodation (Boutique hotels to AirBnB) and dining for every taste and budget.

Two Harbors is where all of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun race courses will start and finish but race participants, families and spectators will all stay in Avalon during the race weekend. There will be all-day, round-trip boat transportation between the two port towns.

The easiest way to get to Catalina is from the San Pedro Ferry terminal (The Catalina Express). They will have a special Saturday morning ferry for those wanting to go out for the SPRINT or EXPERIENCE race. This ferry will leave at 07:30 am and go via Avalon to pick up racers staying there, before going to Two Harbors. In the afternoon the ferry will reverse the same tracks leaving Two Harbors at 3.45 pm via Avalon to get back to San Pedro at 6 pm.

For the Sunday race the teams need to be in Avalon for the race briefing on Saturday late afternoon. In the morning there will be a chartered ferry to the start of the race.

Read more:


Swimrun is the new, up and coming endurance sport growing all over the world where you alternate trail running and open water swimming along a marked course.

ÖTILLÖ started in 2006, it is the leading brand and the origin of the sport.

ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship (ÖTILLÖ meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world.

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

More About ÖTILLÖ World Series Catalina

ÖTILLÖ Catalina Swimrun Brings World Class Competition To The USA

Ötillö Swimrun Catalina Starts The 2020 Season In America

ÖTILLÖ World Series Catalina

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