Jul 17, 2014
Engadin Swimrun tests grit of multi-sport athletes
The Otillo qualifying swimrun race saw winners Bjorn Englund (Sweden) and Paul Krochak (Canada) complete with a time of 06:28:10, half-hour ahead of competitors.
The Outdoor Journal
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When top endurance athletes Bjorn Englund and Paul Krochak of team Head Swimming crossed the finish line at the Engadin Swimrun they were not only winners of the first edition of the event, they were also way ahead of other competitors.
Held in the heart of the Swiss Alps the competition ended on July 12 with Otillo 2013 champions Englund and Krochak sweeping away the top spot with a time of 06:28:10.
The tough endurance race saw 100 teams of two compete in a mix of trail running and swimming for a total of 52 kilometres in the mountainous terrain of Engadin Valley. The athletes had to tackle 1500 metres of vertical climb, cold water, and demanding mountain trails.
Englund and Krochak crossed the finish line at Silvaplana, beating the second placed team of Mike Thoren and Jesper Svensson with over half an hour. Multi-sport champion Carolin Holmqvist of Sweden took the third spot overall with her partner Lelle Moberg.
The 200 competitors (in teams of two) from 17 nationalities experienced a tough physical challenge. Besides a killing vertical gain of almost 1500 metres, the 52 kilometre course consisted of 46 km trail running and 6.5 km open-water swimming through seven mountain lakes with a water temperature of around 10 degrees celsius. The competitors had 17 changes between running and swimming throughout the course. The course passed alpine village St. Moritz, and mountain towns Maloja, Sils, Champfer, to finally finish in Silvaplana.
Winners Englund and Krochak are reigning world champions of Otillo 2013. Paul Krochak commented on the race: “We were here to win and we did. We are not so used to running steep hills, so we tried not to go too hard up hill. It was really tough on the thighs both up and down hill. The water was quite cold and we did suffer a bit of hyperthermia a couple of times…You really have to handle the elements. The scenery was amazing and one had to make sure to take a little bit of time to look up and enjoy the landscape.”
Engadin Swimrun is a sturdy qualifier to the World Championship of Swimrun, ÖTILLÖ, the original swimrun race in the Stockholm archipelago, considered to be one of the toughest one-day races in the world.
The next Engadin Swimrun is scheduled to take place on July 11, 2015.
The top 3 men, top 3 mixed, and top 2 women at Engadin Swimrun qualified to ÖTILLÖ, September 1, 2014 are given below
Winner’s list Engadin Swimrun, 12 July, 2014
1. Björn Englund (SWE) & Paul Krochak (CAN), Team Head Swimming: 06:28:10
2. Mike Thoren (SWE) & Jesper Svensson (SWE), Team Enervit Sweden: 07:00:15
3. Klas Wiréhn (SWE) & Henrik Wahlberg (SWE), Team SurfSpot: 07:24:35
1. Carolin Holmqvist (SWE) & Lelle Moberg (SWE), Team Säkra Stockholm Öst AB: 07:07:29
2. Laetitia Pibis (FRA) & Gerald Hofstadler (AUT), Team Irgendwie & Sowieso: 07:44:39
3. Lucie Croissant (FRA) & JC Kunz (FRA), Team Adidas Triatl Aix: 08:03:22
1. Hanna Slotte (SWE) & Natalia Muller (SUI), Team two single ladies: 08:34:36