"A decade after having contested in triathlons, swimming and running activities across the globe, this trip to Kona turned our individual sporting goals onto a different path"
Running in a wetsuit
|Warm pacific seawater. Perfect clear skies. Tropical heat. It must have been after one of way too many pre-race festivities when my friend Fabian and I were relaxing on the shoreline of Kona after a lengthy morning swim in the choppy deep-sea. It was that special time of the year when the tranquil Hawaiian settlement changes and turns into a triathlon metropolis. But in that year, the exhilarating capital of endurance sports also transformed our own racing approach and endeavour. Once again.|
In the past, we had dreamed of this small place in the middle of the ocean. Fascinated by the triathlon movement, we transformed. While we had left our football, tennis and ice hockey careers behind us many years ago, we had observed this distinct event very closely. Every year in October. Big Island Hawaii. The Ironman World Championship. For us and countless other athletes this occasion had been and still is the kick-starter to the splendid world of swimming, biking, and ultimately running. A vibrant volcano that spits raw inspiration from corner to corner of all continents.
A decade after having contested in triathlons, swimming and running activities across the globe, this trip to Kona turned our individual sporting goals onto a different path: Rough icy waters, slippery rocks, and unforgiving trails. The love for running and swimming as well as the idea of competing in a team of two extremely inspired us to retain our daily inspiration.
Both of us had heard about this event before where you swim in shoes and run in a wetsuit: ÖTILLÖ - The SwimRun World Championship. An amphibian excursion from one end of the Stockholm archipelago to the other, passing 26 Swedish isles over a distance of 65 kilometres. In some way a very stupid idea. But we cherished it straightaway.
Similar to 1978, when the stunning triathlon movement was established on the Hawaiian coast where we were vacationing, the idea of trying yet another combination of sports should revolutionize our drive. We were looking for an innovative inspiration and we found it within the sport of SwimRun. The team racing appeal and the different style of racing and training became a huge foundation of our day-to-day motivation. But the opportunity to fight as a crew within the sports we love requires a specific skill- and mind-set. While racing with a good friend, the dynamism needs to be shared to gain the maximum. Furthermore, the motivation of your partner as well as a mutual affection need to be at the centre of everything you do. Everything needs to be experienced together: pain, set-backs, and ultimately triumphs.
Training every day without pursuing a goal would not be possible for me. Objectives are essential and every person needs to define them independently. Ultimately, they are the motor to accomplish more and push yourself further. Since we’ve started to compete as a group in SwimRun, we’ve trained harder. Running, swimming, struggling, encouraging and achieving as a team strengthened our will. Our will to 'Never Stop Pushing'.
By Markus Rössel
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