ARK ExLong by ExSwimRun - Sweden - 2023 - 2nd

When I decided to race the SuperSprint event at ExSwimRun I sent a message to my friend Markus to get his advice. He lives in Stockholm near the race venue and has been doing swimrun races for a decade including multiple world championship events. After a useful discussion on the course and tactics he suggested that we team up for the ExLong race the day after the SuperSprint. I've only raced in a team once before (with V at ÖTILLÖ Cannes) so I was excited to have a partner with plenty of experience to learn more and of course to enjoy the race together.

Leading up to the event Markus wasn't able to do as much training as he would have liked, but I knew his experience and course knowledge would more than make up for that. We planned a strategy of a steady pace with me leading for the first sections and then changing who would lead depending on how we both felt in the race. On the race day it was a little cool, but another beautiful sunny day at Eksviden lake and there were plenty of excited racers ready to enjoy the event. We started in the last wave which meant we were chasing all the other athletes who had started before us.

The race was so much fun! There were plenty of short swim and run sections making it a technical event with loads of changes in activity. Markus and I worked well as a team and I pushed him hard by stretching out the tow line quite a few times on the slight inclines on the run sections. Our first few entries and exits from the water were not super smooth, but as we settled into a rhythm and figured out where the tow line was we improved over the course of the race. I loved the race route and kept thinking about how amazing it was to be doing a swimrun race in Sweden through terrain like I had seen in all the videos of the biggest races.

Overall, we kept a consistent effort and most of the day we were passing other teams along the route (because we started in the last wave and because there were multiple distances using different parts of the course). We didn't know what position we were in so it was great news to learn that we had finished second in the men's team category. I really enjoyed the entire experience of racing somewhere new, racing in a team with Markus, and my first trip to Sweden. I can't wait to go back.

At the start.

On the first run and just getting the day started.

Our transitions could have been better!

It was a perfect day for racing and an amazing venue.

Pushing on the last run to the finish.

At the finish.

2nd place.

Race result

28 May 2023
22km (18km run, 4.5km swim)

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