2018 ÖTILLÖ SwimRun Season Kicks Off in Hvar Croatia

Exceptional Start to the ÖTILLÖ SwimRun Season at Hvar

The 2018 ÖTILLÖ swimrun season kicked off with a stunning race and a hard fought battle at the 2nd edition ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series event on the island of Hvar, Croatia. The Mediterranean setting had all the ingredients to make for a spectacular yet very tough swimrun race. The 40,4 kilometres long course was a true test, alternating technical trail running with long, challenging stretches of open-water swimming. THE WINNERS George Bjälkemo & Pontus Lindberg, Team Garmin (SWE), managed to pull away from the leading pack and cross the finish line as the first team after 5:15:41, almost five minutes ahead of Peter Aronsson & Fredrik Axegård, Team (SWE). The very strong Martin Flinta (SWE) & Helena Karaskova Erbenova (CZE) Team Thule Crew finished as first mixed team and 4th overall with the time of 5:34:07! The first women’s team Fanny Danckwardt & Desirée Andersson (SWE) Team Envol completed an impressive race and finished after 5:53:52 and 13th Overall.

“This race is just something else! We have suffered today and nothing was for free. It was really tough for everyone and just an exceptional race. The variation in the terrain just eats you up. But the race course fits us perfectly, we loved the technical running in the hills. It’s unbelievably beautiful!”, said Pontus Lindberg after finishing as overall winner with George Bjälkemo (SWE), Team Garmin.

The island of Hvar, part of the Croatian Dalmatian islands, is considered one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. With its rich cultural and historic heritage, ancient olive trees and vineyards, crystal clear waters, limestone rock and varied terrain, surrounded by the fabulous Pakleni islands, Hvar is the perfect destination for a ÖTILLÖ swimrun race. There is no doubt that Hvar lives up to ÖTILLÖ’s claim of having unique races in unique places!

The variation in the terrain just eats you up. But the race course fits us perfectly, we loved the technical running in the hills. It’s unbelievably beautiful!

The 40,4 km race course of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar was as tough as it gets. The crystal blue sea was a bit colder than usual at 14 degrees and the longest swim crossing of 2 950 metres was a true test for all competitors. The near perfect weather made it easier than expected but still a very big challenge. A big part of the trail running was on technical trails, with a few tough climbs spicing up the challenge. The need to adjust to running in the hot sun (in your wetsuit) and swimming in the relatively cold water temperature, of around 13-15 degrees, added to the test.

Several teams had to struggle to make it in time for the two cut offs. Some had to abandon after the long swim. The top teams pushed each other hard, chasing each other in a tight group all the way to the last swims before the finish line. The level of competition is mind blowing!

At all ÖTILLÖ swimrun World Series events teams race in pairs. Working wisely with your partner is decisive. Using each other’s strengths will push boundaries. The team experience is incomparable and can only be fully understood by those who have practiced it, and is part of why swimrun is growing so fast in popularity.

125 teams of two from 23 different nations travelled to Hvar to compete in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, a qualifier to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in the Swedish archipelago. The day prior to the race a shorter more accessible race was organised, the ÖTILLÖ Sprint Hvar, offering the same flavours as the longer more challenging race but in a smaller format.This race had 73 teams registered from a total of 19 nations.

Eight top teams at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar qualify to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2018, on 3 September 2018 in the Stockholm Archipelago; top 3 men, top 3 mixed, top 2 women.

Top 3 results ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, 8 April 2018

ÖTILLÖ Hvar George Bjälkemo & Pontus Lindberg (SWE) Team Garmin.
George Bjälkemo & Pontus Lindberg (SWE) Team Garmin. Photo – Pierre Mangez/ÖTILLÖ Hvar

1.George Bjälkemo & Pontus Lindberg (SWE) Team Garmin
2. Peter Aronsson & Fredrik Axegård (SWE) Team
3. Nicolas Remires & Guillaume Heneman (FRA) Team Envol

1. Martin Flinta (SWE) & Helena Karaskova Erbenova (CZE), Thule Crew
2. Stefano Prestinoni & Annika Ericsson (SWE) Team
3. Helena Sivertsson & Fredrik Granström (SWE) Team Grinderman

1. Fanny Danckwardt & Desirée Andersson (SWE) Team Envol
2. Renee Huuva & Charlotte Erikson (SWE) YO Running Club
3. Anneli Wall & Jenny Ramstedt (SWE) Team Envol

Complete result list here

Photo: Pierre Mangez/ÖTILLÖ Hvar


  • Hvar, Croatia
  • Total race distance: 40,4 km
  • Trail running: 31,6 km
  • Swimming: 8,8 km
  • Swim sections: 9
  • Longest swim: 2 950 m
  • Longest run: 13 600 m
  • Teams of two; for safety reasons and for the unique experience
  • 125 registered teams
  • 23 nations


Swimrun is the fast growing sport where you in teams of two alternate trail running and open water swimming along a marked course. There is no time to lose – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! It is a unique sport and experience as you always race with a partner and the race course is in wild nature. The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship (ÖTILLÖ meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world.


There are five qualifying races to ÖTILLÖ. At each World Series event a sprint race is organised the same weekend.

  • ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, Croatia, April 8, 2018
  • ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Utö, Sweden, May 20, 2018
  • ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly, UK, June 10 2018
  • ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Engadin, Switzerland, July 8, 2018
  • ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes, Germany, September 30, 2018 (Qualifier to ÖTILLÖ 2019)


  • 13th edition on September 3rd, 2018
  • 75 km over and between 26 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago
  • Renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world




Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 18 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

Related Articles

Back to top button