British Duo Wins Overall at First Edition of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are off the south-west tip of England, in the Atlantic. They have been inhabited since the Stone Age and is a mythical place. All in all 140 islands of which five are inhabited. At times, when low tide is low, you can walk between islands. Exceptional beauty and a pristine environment where the power of the Ocean is never far away!
Visiting the Isles for the first time, the inaugural edition of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly was a huge success, with the British team Richard Stannard and Andrew Fargus first over the finish line. The race alternated trail running and open water swimming (swimrun) for a total of 37,5 kilometres on and between the stunning and rugged Isles of Scilly, 45 kilometres off the southwestern tip of England. The British duo Stannard and Fargus proved to be strong both in the water and on the running sections and held the lead from the start to the finish to win overall on the fast time of 5 hours, 2 minutes and 44 seconds, closely chased by the second and third teams, with Stefano Prestinoni and Fredrik Axegård just a little more than one and a half minute behind. The first mixed team, Swedes Martina Ågren and Oskar Davidssonfinished on the impressive time 5:49:14 and the winning all female team, Annika Ericssonand Maria Edstedt of Sweden, were not far behind, with the finishing time 5:56:40.
Scilly Race Report
ÖTILLÖ, meaning “island to island” in Swedish, the country of origin for the sport swimrun, was exactly what awaited almost 200 competitors from 16 different nations for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly. The courageous athletes ran a total of 30 kilometres of trail running on eight of the Scilly islands and swam a total of 7,5 kilometres between them, for nine very tough swim sections.
During the magical 37,5 km long race course the competitors were in the mercy of the wild, raw nature of these stunning but remote and rugged islands. Racers tackled complex tidal waters and currents, beautiful coastal trails along the islands, and passed pristine beaches, beautiful rock sections, stunning fauna and wild life and ran past many of the islands’ historical archeological sites, some of them dating all the way back to stone age. The Isles of Scilly is paradise for a unique and beautiful swimrun race!
The swimming is particularly tough at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly and strong swimming skills were essential to stay on top. The course involves two swim sections as long as 2 000 metres and 2 350 metres in rough ocean water, at around 13 degrees C! The overall winners Richard Stannard and Andrew Fargus have their swimming sorted, Stannard, a well-known British former top triathlete, with “the fish” as a nickname, is famous for being extremely fast in the water. Fargus, on the other hand, is an impressive ultrarunner, which made the perfect match to push each other forward and take victory.
“We set off hard to take the lead and pressed all the way, but we had to constantly look over our shoulders! Swimrun is not just a race, it’s a massive adventure and this course is beautiful! It is a stunning set of islands and such a great way to see them. Even if you are trying to win you get through some amazing scenery and there were lots of people cheering along the course, which was really welcoming. The race was tough, especially the last 2 350-metre-long swim when the body really starts to feel it”, said Richard Stannard at the finish line.
In swimrun you always race in pairs, for safety reasons and because racing with a team mate gives a whole new dimension to the experience. You are completely dependent on your partner and you cannot be more than 10 metres apart. Good team work is essential to succeed.
Nine different swims mean 18 changes between running and swimming. There is no time to lose – you run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! Key is to be fast in and out of the water and it is spectacular to see how efficiently the top teams change from running to swimming mode and vice versa.
Eight top teams at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly qualify to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship,on 5 September in the Stockholm Archipelago; top 3 men, top 3 mixed, top 2 women. The next race in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series will be held in the beautiful Engadin valley in the Swiss Alps, 10 July.
Top 3 result ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly, 18 June, 2016
1. Richard Stannard and Andrew Fargus (GBR), Team Richard & Andrew, 5:02:44
2. Stefano Prestinoni and Fredrik Axegård (SWE), Team Swimshop.se, 5:04:22
3. Henrik Wahlberg and Claes Wiréhn (SWE), Team Löplabbet, 5:07:33
1. Martina Ågren (USA) and Oskar Davidsson (SWE), Team Carbon 5:49:14
2. Anna Schlosser (SWE) and Johan Johansson (DEN), Team Crawlkurser.com 6:04:34
3. Ulrik Persson and Maggan Persson (SWE), Team Helikopter Wing 6:41:21
1. Annika Ericsson and Maria Edstedt (SWE), Team Trispot, 5:56:40
2. Rosemary Byde and Isobel Joiner (GBR), Team sportextreme.com 6:21:39
3. Jenny Rice and Claire Wilson (GBR), Team Girls Wot Can, 6:41:47