If you spent any time around open water last summer you may have seen a new breed of athlete that’s neither a pure open water swimmer nor triathlete.
At first you might mistake them for triathletes as they arrive with wetsuits, paddles and pullbuoys but then you notice they seem to forget to remove their shoes when they start swimming. Even more strangely, after completing a few laps of the lake (using paddles and pullbuoy), they exit the water and run off without removing their wetsuits. You think you’ve seen the last of them until they suddenly reappear from another direction, fly back into the water and start swimming again (still with their shoes on).
In the unlikely event one of these swim-runners pauses long enough to talk to they’ll explain they’re taking part in a relatively new type of event made famous Sweden, which asks participants to run across islands and swim between them. The word Ötillö means island to island.
The popularity has spread to the UK and there are now a number of events around the country. And now, for those wanting to train (or perhaps try a shorter distance), event organiser Votwo has created a new sprint swim-run series at Eton Dorney which is being sponsored by wetsuit and triathlon brand Zone 3.
Bobby Buck, Sponsorship Manager of Zone3 says: “It is fantastic to be supporting Votwo this season. We have always been committed to supporting every level of the sport and, therefore, working with Votwo is a perfect opportunity for us to do just this. They have a fantastic range of events, perfect for both newcomers to the sport and establish athletes, and we are really excited to start the 2015 racing season with them, especially with the exciting new additions to their event schedule”.
The Ötillö swim-run training sprints involves six swims and six runs in teams of two, which can be male, female or mixed. Teams have to stay and work together for the race. Competitors also need to swim in their trainers and run in their wetsuit, swim toys are allowed to assist! The race series is designed to be a ‘taster’ for those that are new to the sport or for more experienced Ötillö competitors to use as training in preparation for Ötillö UK or indeed the World Championships in Sweden.
The first event is on 14 June and covers a total swim distance of 3.1km and a run distance of 10.18km.
For more information on Votwo events and the OTILLO swim-run sprint training series, please seewww.votwo.co.uk.