ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series - Isles of Scilly 2022
After three year’s away, the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series returned to the stunning Isles of Scilly, and did not disappoint!
Set in the Atlantic Ocean, 24 miles off the Cornish coast, the Isles of Scilly is a unique archipelago comprised of 140 islands. Perfect sandy beaches, clear blue water, and beautiful flora and fauna make this a true paradise for swim runners.
With the past two events postponed due to the pandemic, enthusiasm was high for the return of ÖTILLÖ to the islands. Friendly locals have taken swimrun to their hearts since the World Series race first arrived in 2016. Familles were out to support competitors along the course, helping them at energy stations and cheering them across the finish line, creating an incredible atmosphere.
Friday saw a Junior event take place in glorious sunshine, with children from the islands getting a taste of swimrun, helping the next generation understand the sport and ethos behind it.
On Saturday, the Sprint (15.4km) and Experience (7.6km) races took place around the island of St Mary’s, mixing trail running with open water swimming to give a real taste of swimrun for those eager to try it out, either as a team of two or taking it on solo. The weather had changed significantly since Friday and wet conditions meant that it really was #dryrobeterritory out there!
Along the course, friends and family had come to support the hundreds of racers, many of whom were taking on their first swimrun. The busy Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday meant that there were also curious tourists cheering them along as well. At the finish line, the atmosphere was electric, with smiling competitors being applauded across the line.
Sunday was the big one, the ÖTILLÖ World Series race. Comprising of 8.4km of open water swimming and 28.7km of trail running, this is not an event for the faint hearted! World Series Races act as qualifiers for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in September.
Two of the swim sections are over 2km in the open Atlantic and, depending on conditions, these stretches could be very rough. Despite the near perfect weather conditions, the cold water (14°C) made the swims a difficult challenge even for the fittest of swimmers. During the swims racers were constantly challenged by tidal currents and sea weed.
Over 75% of the trail running sections on the course are technical, single track trails with constant ups and down. The swims, eight of them make for lots of transitions between running and swimming where it is easy to lose lots of time.
From the start it was clear that one team was head and shoulders above the rest. Hugo Tormento (FRA) and Max Andersson (SWE) pulled out all the stops to take the victory, breaking away on the first swim finishing an incredible 30 minutes ahead of their closest rivials. Their speed was truly impressive to witness. This was Max and Hugo’s second victory in as many weeks, having won in Utö last month. They are very much the team to beat this year.
The real battle of the race was between the first mixed team, Richard Stannard (UK) & Sarah Richardson (UK), and the first womens team, Desirée Andersson & Fanny Kuhn (SWE), who were switching postitions throughout the race, until the second to last swim where Fanny & Desiréé pulled away and finished third overall.
There were some great stories from competitors crossing the finish line. One competitor lost her show on the last swim and ran the final section in her socks. Mixed team winners Richard and Sarah were joined by seal on one of their swims!
British racers Edward Scott and Katie Rowland paused their race to go and rescue another competitor who’d gotten entangled in seaweed. For this act of kindness, that really encapsulates the spirit of swimrun, they were given a pair of Limited Edition ÖTILLÖ dryrobe® Advance change robes by Race Director, Micheal Lemmel.
It was great to see swimrun return to the Isles of Scilly, we can’t wait to return here for the next one!
ÖTILLÖ World Series Isles of Scilly Top 3:
1. Team ARK Swimrun - Hugo Tormento FRA & Max Andersson SWE 4:09:58
2. Team Bartlett/ Byatt - David Bartlett & Andrew Byatt UK 4:38:32
3. Torsdagsklubben - John Thorp NOR & Simon Björnholm SWE 5:17:33
1. Richard Stannard & Sarah Richardson UK - 5:07:10
2. Team Head Hero Valance - Piers Vallance & Claire Vallance UK - 5:12:17
3. Green Team - Pauline Monière & Adrien Perino FRA - 5:26:15
1. HEAD Swimming - Fanny Kuhn & Desirée Andersson SWE 4:56:59
2. JOLO - Lorraine Axegård & Josefine Jangvert SWE 5:18:41
3. TEAM CC - Camille Marchand & Corinne de Perseval FRA 5:56:30
Winner: Chris Goodfellow UK - 4:39:21
Lindy Lee Folscher UK - 6:03:03
Photos from the World Series Race courtesy of ÖTILLÖ and Jean Marie Gueye.