USA Finally Gets A SwimRun!

The first American ÖTILLÖ style SwimRun event has been announced.

Inspired by the wildly popular and rapidly growing Swedish ÖTILLÖ SwimRun series, the Casco Bay Islands SwimRun will debut August 14, 2016 in Portland, Maine.

USA SwimRun event in Casco Bay, Maine in 2016
A view of Casco Bay, Maine.

The race will consist of 10 miles total running and 4 miles total swim distance throughout the Casco Bay archipelago. Entry will be open to 100 two person teams with 20 team slots available via merit selection and the remaining 80 slots offered via lottery selection.

If the European ÖTILLÖ events are any indication the Casco Bay Islands SwimRun will receive significantly more interest than their 100 team slots can accommodate, so be sure to submit your Merit and/or Lottery application soon.

Find the full press release below and for registration and more information visit:

Facebook – USA-Swimrun  

Twitter – @usaswimrun

Inspired by the preeminent, international Swimrun race series OTILLO (“island to island), originating in Sweden in 2006, two multisport veterans looking for the next adventure are excited to introduce the first OTILLO-style Swimrun event in the US taking place in Portland, Maine on August 14, 2016.

”Swimrun has had an explosive growth in Scandinavia and Europe over the past few years. From the humble beginnings in the Swedish archipelago 10 years ago, there are now thousands of participants and over 50 races in Sweden annually. Races all over Europe are popping up and selling out. And now, finally, an American Swimrun race,” stated multisport legend Jonas Colting, 3-time winner of OTILLO and the only person to complete all ten editions of the Swimrun World Championships.

Consisting of multiple, alternating swim and overland running legs (island roads, trails, and shoreline scrambles) between 8 islands in Portland’s spectacular Casco Bay, this adventure will test competitors with run legs across nearly 10 miles of varied island terrain and a combined 4 miles of open water swimming.

“Maine’s Casco Bay is famed for its assorted islands of spectacular beauty that make it a natural location to stage the first ‘OTILLO-style’ Swimrun in the US”, says Jeff Cole, co-organizer of the event.

Remaining true to the originators of the OTILLO, Casco Bay Islands Swimrun is a two-person team event. Rules permit swim aids such as hand paddles, pull buoys, wetsuits and even swim fins to name a few. Certain safety gear is mandated by race rules, hydration and race fuel is typically carried too, but what one starts with, so too must they finish. Changing from trail shoes to swim fins, or tending to awkward gear can chew up valuable time. Having the right teammate and equipment can make all the difference.

”Why is Swimrun growing so fast? Because it’s an extremely laid back racing environment with events that focus heavily on providing beautiful yet challenging courses combining rugged running on trails and wild open water swimming for hours on end! It´s really an amphibious adventure! And it´s very social as it is a two-person team sport,” added Colting.

“Teams will experience scrambles over rocky island shores or stretches of remote beaches, running island roads of hard gravel, paved and grass surfaces, and woods trails through conservation lands as well as some remarkable fortification remnants from the Civil War that dot a few of the islands,” adds Cole, a lifelong Mainer.

Long known as the fastest female swimmer in triathlon, Sara McLarty competed at OTILLO in 2015 with teammate Misty Becerra had this to say, “We are thrilled to hear Swimrun will be making an appearance in the USA this year. One look at Google Earth and we know the Casco Bay area is going to provide a challenge similar to the Swedish Archipelago. We find out on January 28th if we have been accepted to OTILLO again but either way, expect to see team Good’Nuff in Portland this August!”

Casco Bay Islands Swimrun is produced by Valhalla Sports Group in conjunction with USA-Swimrun and will be limited to 100 teams.

Applying for 20 team positions on merit consideration and 80 team race slots for a lottery pool will open on January 8 at There is no fee for the lottery or merit application entries. Merit team applicants will be required to submit a summary of each member’s record of competitive achievement that should include endurance and/or adventure racing, Ironman or other long distance triathlon, multisport or ultra distance competitions  and any commercial sponsorship relationships. Race organizers will have sole discretion of selections from merit team candidates. Selections will be made of the most outstanding men, women, and mixed teams that apply for merit consideration. On April 3rd, a random drawing of lottery entries will be used to award the 80 lottery team slots. Successful merit and lottery winners will be required to submit their team’s full registration details and race fee in full by April 6th, otherwise the unsecured spots will roll down to the next ordered merit applicant or lottery candidate drawn.

Successful merit and lottery applicants being awarded a team race slot must be at least 18 years of age as of August 14, 2016 and when submitting their team’s race entry details, lottery applicants must provide verifiable race results within the last two years for each team member showing EITHER a 1500m, 1.2mi., or 2.4mi  open water swim time NOT exceeding 35min.,48min.,or 85min, respectively for women, and 33min.,45min., or 75min. respectively for men. Certification of a one mile pool swim of not more than 33 min for women or 31 min for men from a certified Red Cross lifeguard at a nearby Y or club will be accepted.

“The open water swims will require sighting and navigating strategies to better an estimated time to finish of 4-½ – 5 hours. Casco Bay Islands Swimrun will set the bar for the future of this unique endurance team sport in the US,” explains Cole.

Hopefuls are encouraged to visit the official OTILLO website and the Official Film: OTILLO 2015 The Swimrun World Championship to learn more about this challenging event and gain insight on optimal gear selection.




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.

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