ÖTILLÖ World Championships - Sweden - 2023 - DNF

I'm not going to write much about my race because it ended badly. On the second swim entry I slipped and fell directly on the rocks on my lower back and coccyx. There wasn't anything I could do at the time so we just started the swim and kept going. A few hours later the pain had increased and I was struggling with shooting pain through my lower back and upper legs with every step. I tried my best, but couldn't keep going and we had to abandon the race. It definitely wasn't the day I hoped for.

Most of the races I do are individual and this race was in a team with my friend Markus. I couldn't have asked for a better partner as he has so much experience at this race and in swimrun races in general. Markus has helped me learn more about swimrun and to become a better athlete. He was kind and supportive and looked after me the whole trip and especially after I fell. In addition, we had some amazing support from Dryrobe (Dryrobes, packs, a team following us, and entry into the race), Orca (suits and goggles), and Saucony (shoes). Even though everyone has been very supportive, it still feels tough that we stopped and didn't show what we were capable of on the day. Hopefully we can have a better showing in the near future to return that belief and confidence we received going into the race.

Despite having a bad day, I was absolutely blown away by this race! It is amazing and an experience that is unique. The environment, race route, support from locals, and competition is on another level. The photos and video below can give a little insight into what this day is like, but I think you have to be there to truly understand swimrun and ÖTILLÖ. Going back and have my best possible race there is my number one sporting priority right now. I loved it that much!

An early start to the day (photo: Chris Egner).

The boat from Djurönäset to the start (photo: Nick Rees).

Team Dryrobe (photo: Chris Egner).

The start is in Sandhamn (photo: Chris Egner).

Team Dryrobe on our way to the start (photo: Nick Rees).

There were lots of technical water entries and exits.

Early in the day after the first couple of swims (photo: Nick Rees).

Heading onto the islands and into the forests (photo: Nick Rees).

Every swim entry was slippery and tricky (photo: Nick Rees).

A little bit of rope climbing to get down to the beach.

Looking for the buoys and markers on the next island.

It was chaotic at times, with lots of teams around.

Reflecting on a tough day (photo: Chris Egner).

Dryrobe produced this video about the race and shared a little about our day out there.

Here's my Strava file of what we actually did on the day... a little short unfortunately.

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