ÖTILLÖ Utö - Sweden - 2024 - 5th

In the last year I've been to Sweden to race swimrun events three times. My first trip went very well with good races in the ExSwimRun SuperSprint and then the ExSwimRun Long which I did with Markus. Next, V and I did the OTILLO Sprint at Gothenburg which was amazing. My last trip of the year was for the OTILLO World Championships which didn't go so well as I fell and injured myself and Markus and I had to stop the race. I wanted to return to race in the Stockholm archipelago to redeem myself from last year's race and to learn the terrain and islands better. I teamed up with Donato, who I will be racing the World Championships with in September, for our first race together.

Donato and I had only met briefly once before, but he looked after me like a king! I stayed with him, we did some great training sessions around Stockholm to prepare as a team, and he handled all the logistics and planning for the weekend. This made it very easy for me and a chance to just race and do the best I could on race day.

We arrived in Uto on Friday evening and settled into a cabin on the island right near the start of the race. This was a perfect location to be as it is both the start of the race, a mid-point aid station during the race, the finish, and the finish for the World Championships. Donato and I had a quiet evening and chatted about our race plans and how we wanted to execute the race.

On race morning, we joined a few other athletes for breakfast at the lodge and then prepared our gear. After a short warm-up and catching up with competitors, it was time to start. The first run was very fast and far higher intensity than we could maintain for the day. We decided to go with the pace so we would have teams to race with during the first swim. We entered the swim with the leading teams, but as we weren't allowed to use a tether on this swim, we settled into the second group as this matched our pace and ability on the day. We held a good position through the second run and second swim, and then on the third run we let Alexis and Nicolas go as they were running more strongly than us. From there we settled into a pace and were on our own the whole day.

For the rest of the race, I lead the swims and technical sections of the runs, while Donato pulled on the single track and gravel roads and lead through the short and technical swims. We made a good team and our progress was consistent and strong. We were really pleased to finish well and arrive in fifth place.

As a trial for racing together later in the year we had a successful day. I felt much happier on the technical entries and exits to the swims and together we raced effectively and complemented each other. I'm looking forward to racing with Donato again soon.

At the start and ready for the race.

Early in the race before we could tether together.

Swim 2.

A great first experience together as a team.

Very happy to be finished!

Race result

8 June 2024
32,4km (5.4km swim ; 27.0km run)