ÖTILLÖ Catalina Swimrun Brings World Class Competition To The USA
The first ÖTILLÖ Catalina Swimrun World Series and the first race of the 2020 season saw hard racing, with some winds, currents and stiff competition.
Catalina was the perfect stage for this race with its imposing hills, incredible views and fantastic swims. The wind and the strength of the racing field added to the mix.
The very strong Nicolas Remires (FRA) & Francesc De Lanuza Gimeno (ESP) - Team Envol pulled out the stops and won ahead of top-ranked former World Champion Fredrik Axegård (SWE) racing with Oscar Olsson (SWE) as TEAM ARK SWIMRUN. The winning time was 4:38:41, a little over five minutes ahead of Team ARK. The first American team were Gregory Harper & Prashanth Chandrashekar Ganesh (Team Temple of Mount Diablo), who finished third in 4:53:12.
In the womens category the Womens World Champions from Sweden, Fanny Kuhn & Desirée Andersson, (Team WILD Envol),showed from the beginning why they are the world champions. The top ranked Team ARK Souls/Addnature - Helena Wikmar & Isabella Hedberg (SWE) - were 32 minutes after the winners and took second, 20 seconds ahead of Kelsie Person & Caroline Wolek in Team Lyle Fitness Ladies. The winning time was 5: 05: 34.
In mixed the competition there was a stiff chase with many of the top racers going for it. The winners Alexis Charrier (FRA) & Sabina Rapelli (ITA) - Team Envol Switzerland/ Vigor showed why they came second in the total 2019 World Series standings, winning 1.5 minutes ahead of the Swedish Team ARK - Hanna Skårbratt & Johan Skårbratt and almost 2 minutes ahead of the the top ranked American team - Boston Wet Sox Gregory Dierksen & Bronwen Dierksen. The winning time was 5:10:37.
The sport of Swimrun is about five years ahead in Europe and this race will make the American racers catch up quickly.
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Catalina 2020 had a total of 530 registered racers over the weekend from a total of 18 nations.
The Race In Detail
The inaugural ÖTILLÖ Catalina had 108 teams of two who started their Sunday morning by running hard out of Two Harbors, towards Cat Harbor before they did the first hard uphill loop which gave all the teams spectacular views of the course.
The downhill took them back to Two Harbors again from where they swam all the way to USC Wrigley where they experienced the wind swell for the first time. Before continuing running and swimming almost around the West end of Catalina. By the time they finished in Two Harbors they had completed a massive course with gruelling uphills, hard downhills and with spectacular swims. The fast pace sightseeing took its toll.
In total, they covered almost 31 km on foot and 8 km swimming making a course distance just less than 39 km with 7 swims in total.
The water temperature was around 16 degrees C/ 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 25 knot wind from the Northwest built a big swell at the furthest swim by Parson's landing.
Several teams had to struggle to make it in time for the three cut offs. Some had to abandon along the way. Around 90% of the teams managed to finish the race.
At all ÖTILLÖ swimrun World Series events teams race in pairs. Using each other’s strengths to push boundaries. The team experience is incomparable and is part of why swimrun is growing so fast in popularity.
108 teams of two from 16 different nations travelled to Catalina to compete in the first- ever ÖTILLÖ World Series race in America, the fourth qualifier for ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship 2020 in the Swedish archipelago.
The day prior to the race two shorter, more accessible races were organised, the ÖTILLÖ Sprint and ÖTILLÖ Experience, offering the same flavours as the longer, more challenging race but in a smaller format.
Eight top teams at ÖTILLÖ Catalina qualify to ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship 2020 on August 31st, 2020 in the Stockholm Archipelago; top 3 men, top 3 mixed, top 2 women.
See the complete results list here: https://otilloswimrun.com/races/catalina/results-2020/