1. Tell us a bit about yourselves
We are the founders of Swimrun Shop. We are Swimrunners, we are Scandinavian and we're entrepreneurs. We lives in Randers in Denmark and train in the nearby lakes and forests. We think about swimrun all the time and are obsessed with the know-how of the sport.
2. When did you start competing in swimrun and why?
In 2012 we read about ÖtillÖ in the book "The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges" and were immediately fascinated by the swimrun concept. We had to try the sport for ourselves. We signed up from the Üto Swimrun and qualified for the ÖtillÖ. Since this first race we have dedicated ourselves to the sport and have raced in nine different countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Lithuania, the England, Scotland, Switzerland and Germany.
3. What do you love about swimrun, why do you think it is different to other sports
Swimrun is all about having fun, enjoying an adventure in beautiful surroundings with your teammate and being part of a growing swimrun-family of friends. The spirit of swimrun is hard to describe, but once you have done your first race you'll understand what it it that all swimrunners are talking about. The swimrun-spirit is cheering other teams on and helping each other out, even though you're in competition. It's about respecting nature and the environment, and the landscapes we're fortunate enough to race in. It's knowing that it's not the best athlete that wins but the best performing team. It's having fun racing hard, or taking it nice and easy - either way, this is the spirit and beauty of swimrun.
4. What memorable events have you competed in?
ÖtillÖ is a very special race. The atmosphere is buzzing and you get to talk swimrun for three days straight with other enthusiasts. At ÖtillÖ you can be totally fit for the first 50km, but the last 25km will either make or break you. Races like ÖtillÖ Engadin and Breca Buttermere also stand out in our memory - coming from Denmark the mountains always impress and challenge us. Swimrun Norway is another race we keep coming back to as the distances and high number of transitions suit us well.
5. What was the inspiration for Swimrun Shop?
Living in Denmark, we had a hard time finding the right equipment for swimrun. We wanted to help other swimrunners facing the same difficulties, so in December 2014 we founded Swimrun Shop. Our goal was to create a comprehensive knowledge base and have the best swimrun equipment all in one store. We only sell equipment that we have tested ourselves and find useful. We find now that we spend a lot of our time developing and testing new products for our brand SWIMRUNNERS™ in collaboration with swimrun friends around the world.
6. What is the most important equipment advice you could give to new teams?
We have three pieces of advice for new Swimrunners:
- Find a wetsuit that fits you well and feels comfortable.
One wetsuit won't fit all swimrunners; some like more buoyancy, some need more flexibility for easier running. A lot of new swimrunners used to cut their old tri-wetsuit; this isn't so necessary anymore as there are more affordable swimrun wetsuits coming onto the market now.
- Attach yourself to your teammate using an elastic cord
A cord makes it possible to pace or pull each other (depending on the type of cord). Teamwork is the key word here - it's important to define and optimise your roles in your team. By using a cord you'll avoid losing time looking out for each other in the water and you can take turns drafting either on the runs or when swimming.
- Hand paddles are a must
They make the stroke much more powerful and are a great place to write down details on the distances and transitions.
A final word on kit: always train wearing your equipment and adjust it to fit with how you perform as a team.
7. You race Breca Buttermere in 2016, placing 9th. Tell us more about the experience
Breca Buttermere is one of the toughest races we have ever done and an event we'd love to race again. It was stunning - the landscape was taken straight out of Lord of the Rings - and we'll never forget the brutal yet beautiful climb on the Honister Pass. A storm was blowing when we got to the top of the mountain - icy hail made us put on our swimming goggles and swim caps to protect our heads.
We were racing hard from the start of the day and had a great battle agains the top three teams. But, even though we are experienced swimrunners, we took a wrong turn and ended up running around like crazy, wasting time and struggling to find the course. By the time we discovered our mistake a lot of teams in the Mixed class had overtaken us. We had to dig deep and push hard to keep in the top 10. This is all part of the swimrun game, and why we love it - it's always unpredictable.
8. What are your race plans for 2017?
Our 2017 season starts in April with ÖtillÖ Hvar in Croatia. The race has a lot of swimming but that plays to our strengths. On May 13th we'll be racing the Amphimann in Belgium - we've done it before, it has some great lake swimming. In July we'll race Böras for the first time and ÖtillÖ Engadin for the second. We don't know exactly which other races we'll do this year, but we have our eyes on France, Norway and Wales. Breca Gower has definitely been added to the bucket list. We've both agreed that 10 races - as we did in 2016 - is too much. We couldn't perform the way we wanted to and were totally worn out by the end of the season.
... Maj-Britt has added to her wish list a trip to New Zealand in 2018 for the Breca Wanaka swimrun ;)