In a first for a swimrun event organiser, Swimrun Australia has partnered with ÖTILLÖ to provide a potential opportunity for a high-performing Australian-based swimrun team to participate in the ÖTILLÖ-run Swimrun World Championship in Sweden.
The initial three-year partnership comes from a recognition that there are significant barriers to Australian-based teams in qualifying for ÖTILLÖ, The World Swimrun Championship.
Swimrun Australia’s race director, Andre Slade, says it’s an important step in bringing Australia closer to the international swimrun scene.
“Sweden, Europe and the US is where the bulk of swimrun is occurring at the moment, and we’re a long way from the action here in Australia,” said Slade.
“ÖTILLÖ’s new ranking system is designed to select the teams who will gain entry into ÖTILLÖ, The World Swimrun Championship, however, the ÖTILLÖ-run World Series races and Merit races (run by third party event organisers) are primarily in Europe and the US.
“For an Australian team to qualify through ranking points it would cost an absorbent amount of money in travel, before you even factor in the time needed to travel and recover etc.
The partnership is not a direct qualification, instead, it is a Swimrun Australia-backed recommendation to ÖTILLÖ to gain a Race Directors Choice spot.
“The team we select to put forward will come from an application process following the completion of the Swimrun Australia Series,” said Slade.
“It’s only open to Swimrun Long teams who will be assessed on their placing in the Series, their capacity to be competitive to ÖTILLÖ standard over a 70km race, and their willingness to support Swimrun Australia as ambassadors.
“Only one team from across the male, female and mixed categories will be chosen.
“Ultimately, it’s ÖTILLÖ’s decision whether the team is given a Race Directors Choice spot.”
It is also hoped the partnership will help grow the sport of swimrun down under.
“Apart from the exciting opportunity for the selected team to participate in the world championships, Swimrun Australia is looking forward to working with the team to help promote the sport of swimrun in Australia,” said Slade.
“You’ll see more of the two athletes at events, in training videos and across social media.
“Ultimately, we want to create heroes of swimrun in Australia that we can all recognise, follow and aspire to be like.”
Who is ÖTILLÖ?
ÖTILLÖ was born in 2006 out of the original 2002 swimrun ‘challenge’ that took place in the Swedish archipelago that is now the course for ÖTILLÖ, The World Championship.
As the origin of swimrun and the guardian of the sport throughout the world, ÖTILLÖ is seen as the premium swimrun brand internationally. The World Championship is the pinnacle of swimrun.
Read more about how the sport got started here.