After Stickholm Swimrun three weeks ago I was uncertain how this race would go. Fredrik went out of town of vacation but managed to run a few days and I got in a few Swimrun workouts here in Växjö. But the days leading up to the race I started feeling better.
Friday I leave work, pack up, say good bye to the girls and head to Karlskrona with Fredrik. We arrive in plenty of time to buy gels since neither of us remembered to bring ours.
We meet up with Brittis, Håkan, Jens, Peter, Mia and other swimruuners at Harry’s for some beer and to talk about the coming day. The water is reported to be 18C+ and it looks like 24-25C in the air and no breeze.
We get back to our room and start to relax with a movie and sorting out equipment.
Saturday we wake up at 06:40, make it to breakfast at 07:00 and eat for a while, knowing it’s the last real food until after the race. Back to our room and rest. Around 08:20 we check out of the hotel and put our bags in the car.
The rest of the 221 teams that are starting the race meet up at the concert house for the pre-race meeting. Nothing new but always good to listen. Meet up with most of the others from Växjö and those I know through swimming, triathlon or funbeat. After the meeting we take a 30min bus ride up to the start.
Once there it’s like any other race. People getting ready at different paces and the lines to the toilets are long. Finish my second Resorb and a redbull 10min before the start. It’s 10:20 and it feels like 25C already. Most are taking shelter in the shade others standing behind the starting line. 3minute to the start everyone moves out to the road.
The start signal goes and with all mass starts it takes a while before those of us farther back can even start to run.
First up 8.1km running with a wetsuit half on with no water and very little shade. At the beginning we go slightly too fast but quickly realize it and slow down. For the first 5km we get passed by a few teams but during the last 3km we start passing teams. We managed to run the entire first section!
At the first swim the have sport drink and water. It’s packed with teams filling up. The first swim is relatively long. Fredrik and I walk into the water and start to swim. We take it long and easy. But we are passing teams to the left and right. What a huge energy kick! At the next run it was just 600m up and down a hill and then back in the water for another long swim. Only 3-4 teams run passed us. Another boost. Back in the water we continue to move up the field.During this transition I was out in the water getting ready when Fredrik called me back to help with his zipper.
From the third run until until the last run we always moved forward stopping only for drinks and at the swim/run transitions. We even start to notice that the teams that are passing us are not always the same teams. On the shorter swims it was the same teams but on the longer swims we never saw the same team pass us again.
On the second to last run we got lost. Missed the painted trees and wasted 3:30 minutes trying to get back on course. Once we are back on track things go better. Baby steps up the steep hills and light jogging down.
As we get to the last swimming I feel a burst of energy. With our wetsuits back on we power through the water to a rope ladder and climb up to the pier. We quickly pull down our suits and start the last 2km run. For the longest time we don’t see any of the other teams. By the time there was less than a km left there isn’t much of a chance for us to pass anyone but we push on to avoid being passed. Across the finish line in 4:41:02!