Monday, 14 July 2014

Racereport 2014-09: Engadin SwimRun

Perhaps it is not the brightest idea to write down a race story when the actual contest was just two days ago. Maybe there is a good bit of neutrality gone astray. But, who cares! Let the emotional raging commence.

As soon as you tell somebody about this SwimRun thing you’ll get some questions back. Of course, you have to to run in a wetsuit. Of course, you need to go swimming with your shoes. Of course, you are permitted to bathe with paddles and a pullbuoy. No, you do not have a transition area. More less – you can do what on earth you want as long as you carry it along that course. More questions?

At the same time as this innovative team game called SwimRun is kind of a household name in Scandinavia, little is known about it outer the Kingdom of Sweden. The big mama off all SwimRun races is the legendary Ö till Ö. The organizers of this event also organized this wander from corner to corner of the Engadin valley in Switzerland. As Fabian and I are already (…and gratefully) qualified for Ö Till Ö we decided to take part in this first race outside of Sweden to collect some practical information and understanding before we get on the plane to the join the Ö Till Ö festivity.

As an location the organizers couldn’t have chosen a superior arrangement for the maiden SwimRun on the continent. The sheer splendor of the Engadin is unadulterated inspiration plus the plan to voyage all the way through the vale from Maloja to Silvaplana was just prepared for this idea of racing.

Our pre-race homework was acceptable. As total rookies in this game we did not know how to get ready for something like this. With a number of specific sessions and material testing at the local lake as well as the usual swims and runs we got ourselves set. At least that’s what we thought. The team racing characteristic is particular and produces a motivating vibrant. We were energized and also nervous. Even more worried when we got a pre-race glimpse of the Silvalplana waters before the race. Chilly would have been a nice expression to describe the water. A entire new experience. We tested the waters in our long neoprene suits and couldn’t hack the sensation of this bitter cold water. Raceday won’t be any better. We were sure about that.

As the morning sun made its way up to the blue skies we ran on. A assembly of almost 100 teams. All psyched for vertical running as well as cold water bathing. At this part of my report I need to hold it short… The opening run section just took its toll out of the race and straight away the competition was spread out. The technical part lead us over rocks and straight down the mount into the first whirl. We chatted away and joked about the imminent chill shock. When we entered it was like diving into a pool of enthusiasm. As the better swimmer Fabian is The German Sparkle Party pacing dinghy i can happily draft. I ducked in behind him. Focusing on his T7’s and the emotion of the water. At this time the Goosebumps weren’t caused by the water. We straight got in the flow of things. We straight got into the SwimRun vibe. Into the GSP vibe. When we exited on the other side of the lake we both beamed. This was our kick-start to a unique day.

What happened then can be described as fun. Sore fun. Intensive fun. Magnificent fun. Hideous fun. Icy fun. The course was asking for a superior performance. No excuses and candid racing. We had to stick together. We had to look out for each other. When I had a low, Fabian had a high and vice versa. Throughout the whole 7 hours and 49 minutes there wasn’t 10 meter sandwiched between us. To call it just right team racing would hit he note. We surprised ourselves and got encouraged by the course, the crowds and the variety of this team competition.

When we reached the shoreline of Silvaplana there was not much left. We did our best, went through a lot of dreadful patches and enjoyed the splendor of this race. Always got ourselves up and going. When we heard we got in 8th we were stunned. A notable day with a noteworthy outcome.

Thanks a lot Michael Lemmel and Mats Skott for arranging this stunner. Credits for setting up a race that has precisely what it needs. No fancy substances. No earsplitting music. No hotel buffet-like aid stations. No overfull field. No hectic. No finisher medal – just plain straightforward outdoor enjoyment.

Tack för det. Se dig i 48 dagar!

Utensils worn:

Neoprene Suit: Custom cut HUUB Archimedes (Click HERE for Preparation Details)
Pullbuoy: HUUB Big Buoy (Click HERE for Preparation Details)
Goggles: HUUB Acute (Smoke/White)
Paddles: Standard Swedish XL
Compression Socks: CEP Run Socks 2.0
Compression Calf Sleeves: CEP Quad Sleeve
Shoes: Brooks T7

Sunday, 6 July 2014

#shoeporn: Brooks - Cascadia 9

This baby does not need any introduction. One of the proper benchmarks of the Brooks collection – The Cascadia.

Now in the ninth edition. What a prettiness!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


This swim kit will be up for some severe pounding in 10 days. The first big race of the calendar is close – The Engadin SwimRun.

Premier contest for the ill-famed GSP.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

CEP Run Socks 2.0 & Quad Sleeve

Compacting it the best way. Stoked for another set of true CEP-adoration. No one squashes better - Fact.

Thanks for keeping it all those tired fibre’s organised. Inside the water and outside the H2O.

Tune of the day: Akkurat - Stress Nicht

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Inov-8 Race Ultra 0.25

Absolutely in love with this toy. Such an ingenuous and helpful piece of gear. Well done. Not more to say really…

Tune of the day: Freidenker - Stadtstrand  

Saturday, 14 June 2014

#shoeporn: Dynafit - Pantera

Since I had a go with the Feline Superlight
 I’m keen to know more about Dynafit’s running goods. This time I got the chance to take their latest model for a ride – the Pantera! Dynafit needs no introduction. Check my previous examination of the Feline to find out more about the Austrian outdoor brand.

As you clearly see in the photographs, the heavy protected model is made for the longer distances. There is not much symptom of minimalism with this shoe- for a reason. The hip phrasing “Ultra Trail” is the key word in the official explanation on their website. Generally that is not somewhat that really gets me fired up. I want the shoe to be light and simple. Examining the shoe closer I like the quality of the making and the general appearance and finish.

Just straight away you sense the pad and the cosiness. Yet the energetic is not lost. Something that keeps on striking me while running with the Pantera. The sensation is a bit sluggish caused by the protection but still you feel the urge to move reckless. An active stride is reinforced. Not normal for a heavy shoe like this.

Additional motivating piece is the “special sole construction of two continuous EVA units - Duo-Motion “. It is pretty noticeable the first time you take this shoe on a proper off-road track. The sensitivity for the ground is there but the reply from the sole scheme isn’t. The control could certainly be improved. While having an aggressive sole it lacks the grip, particularly when it’s getting rock-strewn and misty. It seems that the spikes have the appropriate length but they are too close together. While I stumble on some uphill’s I have to say that the downhill part was way better. Great traction and control here. Kinda bizarre.

Lets have a quick scan through the features:
  • Bursting 8 mm (height difference between the midsole heel / forefoot)
A bit much for my likes. However it feels good and makes up for a mighty stride.

  • Ballsistic bumper protects your toes room to impacts on rocky trails and increases the longevity of the shoe
I cannot justice the durability but the rest is decent. I had some severe impacts while running downhill. The shoe always responded flawlessly.

  • Fitted shape, Forefoot from bi-elastic mesh material adapts when the feet swell during the run, good maintenance of the midfoot inextensible by integration into the lacing system
While I haven’t run this shoe in an Ultra distance event it is still on of the key features to me. The mesh material feels just great and makes it fun to run that shoe.

  • Vibram ® outsole compound mapping from a stepped rubber compound with Claw profile for maximum performance in mixed terrain
As said above. While the material is great, the actual design of the sole is not properly thought out.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

"Zegama, the one and only!"

The Zegama video is here. Click the above pic. Just good.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Walchsee Chronicles

Just hanging about in and around Walchsee, Austria. Check 

Saturday, 7 June 2014