How Swimrun was born. In 2002 Anders Malm, the owner of Utö Värdshus (the finish line hotel) and some of his staff (the Andersson brothers) had a late night in the bar. They challenged each other – “Last team of two to Sandhamn pays for hotel, dinner and drinks”. Two teams of two started the next morning with the only rule being that they had to pass the three different restaurants on the islands between the start and the finish. The last team at the restaurant had to drink and pay what the team ahead of them had ordered for them. It took them more than 24 hours and they were too tired to party on arrival. They tried again the year after with the same result.
In 2006 Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott got involved and made a commercial race out of their crazy challenge. The first couple of years only 11 teams started and only two managed to finish within the time limits. Then something happened and the teams learned that the only way to race is by not stopping, with constant movement. Today the race is internationally recognized as one of the toughest.
The original Andersson brothers are still racing.
The sport of Swimrun was born!
In 2006 Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott took the crazy idea of running and swimming through the islands to heart and made it into the immense & intense race of today. They knew right away that it was going to work with their extensive experience of pushing it to the limit. They are the founders of Swimrun movement around the world.
Michael and Mats started the Swedish Cup in Ski alpinism in the early 90’s before becoming professional Multisport athletes and pioneering the Scandinavian Adventure Racing scene.
Michael and Mats were the backbone of the first Scandinavian Adventure Racing team for over ten years. They have participated in more than 70 of the worlds’ hardest adventure races and were part of the top 10 in the World for many years. Understanding the soul of endurance sports and their extensive knowledge of event management has made the ÖTILLÖ experience of today.
The ÖTILLÖ team has a very strong archipelago connection through Anders Malm and Utö Värdshus which makes for a good mix. As they say themselves –“We are nothing without our staff, our volunteers and the racers that support us”.
ÖTILLÖ is now more than just one race, it has become the pinnacle race of Swimrun and the cherished World Championship in a series of Swimrun races throughout the year.
ÖTILLÖ is about living outside of the box!
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