Thursday, 8 October 2015

Racereport 2015-14: Koster SwimRun - The Petter Invitational

Petter's season finale was a blast - kulpåvägen! Read my piece for slowtwitch.com
“That almost certainly made the difference!” Simon Börjesson was smiling as he filled his bowl with more fish soup. He and partner Rasmus Regnstrand were the only team that did not use paddles and pull buoys. After a bit more than 2 hours and 46 minutes, team “Addnature Östersjösvimmet“ was the first to reach the finish line, even without help from floating devices during the swims across the cold Baltic Sea. At some point during the pre-race dinner, they even had discussions about not using shoes during the race. Luckily the Swedish duo decided to keep their feet covered, but they did take their shoes off during the longer swims. In the end, their simple approach to SwimRun racing brought them the prestigious win in the inaugural Koster SwimRun. No one had faster transitions between the swims and runs. Börjesson and Regnstrand were speedy in and out of the rough, rocky terrain and used their streamlined approach to gain ground on the competition.

Picture: Nadja Odenhage of odenhage.se

Twenty-six transitions across the southern and northern Koster Islands were on the schedule as Swedish hip-hop legend Petter set up a season closing party that could not have been better. The islets, 10km west of the Swedish harbor city of Strömstad, are home to Petter during the summer. The stunning scenery, dominated by bedrock and evidence of volcanic activity, inspired Petter to create a race across the renowned holiday islands. The rocky coastline is scattered with many sandy beaches and small fjords, making it ideal for the sport of SwimRun. After days of heavy winds and rough waves, Saturday’s weather was sunny and mild as 50 teams took on 7km of swimming and 16km of running.

Picture: Nadja Odenhage of odenhage.se

A relatively high percentage of swim distance combined with many transitions shaped an unusual kind of race. During the pre-race briefing, Petter talked the athletes through the course but added that he hoped that “no one is too worn out after the race. I want to have a proper season closing party here!” The technically challenging course required full concentration and a measure of bravery, as racers had to jump from cliffs into the sea at some points. The day finished in a local hotel with a wonderful post-race dinner and a memorable session at the bar. Petter’s first Koster SwimRun was a great finish to a thrilling season!
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