Chances are high that this years Ötillö competition will see one of speediest races in the women’s class ever. As lineups get more specialized each year eventually the competition gets quicker. After last year’s victory with Partner Annika Eriksson, Utö local Maja Tesch is looking for another extra fast and successful daytrip.
She paired up with 50% of the 2014 winning team – Bibben Nordblom. A few weeks ago Bibben took the 2nd place in her Age Group (W 25-29) in a time of 10:38:34 at Ironman Kalmar. Maja and Bibben are now looking for the win at the iconic SwimRun championships across the Stockholm archipelago.
Runssel: You paired up with Annika Eriksson some days prior to last year’s ÖtillÖ. Successively you won the whole thing. I guess going into this year means added pressure. How do you cope with it?
Maja Tesch: It sure does! But the thing is I’m the one putting a lot of pressure on myself and I’m only doing that because I’m afraid I will be disappointed if I don’t win again - and this I can do anything about! There are a lot of strong teams and in the end everyone will do their best. No matter how it ends you can’t be anything else but proud after finishing such a competition. I remind myself that last year I went into this hoping to survive, this year I’m afraid I will be disappointed if I don’t make it to the podium. The brain is pretty crazy?! I think I’ve been nervous enough, now both Bibben and me are super stoked to race and we will have so much fun chasing our own PB on the course!
Runssel: This year you will be competing with Bibben Nordblom. She won Ötillö in 2014. How did the two of you meet up?
Maja Tesch: Bibben send me an email a few weeks after last years ÖtillÖ and asked if I had a partner for next year. And since I didn’t had my own spot (it was Annikas and Marias) I said yes!
Runssel: You are living on the isle where the race traditionally finishes – Utö. As you know the area very well, what is the most stunning share of the course and what part do you dislike the most?
Maja Tesch: To be honest I don’t remember much from the course because I was focused on keeping my legs in motion! I remember that the run across Ornö island never ended and the only thing that kept me going was the car in front of us broadcasting the live stream because we were in the lead. It would be nice to have that pressure this year again. We’ll have to go fast for that though! My most beautiful memory from the race last year was when we arrived on the top of the island just before the last swim to Utö and you could hear people scream and cheer us on; it gave me enough energy to run all the way to the finish line!
Runssel: Coming into this year’s competition, how often did you guys train together on the course? Did you do any major key workouts in preparation for the race?
Maja Tesch: We have not been training on the course, but Bibben came out to Utö this summer and we trained together for three days. Trying out the length of the cord between us and also ran some technical trail and a lot on rocks.
Runssel: What will your race-plan look like for Mondays contest?
Maja Tesch: We will try to set a good pace from the beginning, pushing our limits but still have in mind that it’s a long day. There are a lot of really strong teams and I’m sure the course record will be sub 10 hours in the women’s class. By whom? Lets wait until this coming Monday.
Runssel: Which advice would you give to every racer?
Maja Tesch: Give it all you have, enjoy it when you can and remember that the faster you run the faster you get rid of the pain. Try to do your own race and to have a great day on the course together with your teammate. But most important ALWAYS cheer on teams you pass or get passed by - unless you see them throw trash on the course - then you can release your inner acid-monster and scream at them for being such dickheads.
Maja is suppourted by Wolff Wear, Head Swimming, Suunto and Merrell