Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Racereport 2014-10: ÖTILLÖ – The swimrun world championship

So much has been written about the recent ÖTILLÖ. It all is so true. This race and everything around it was pure joy.

Fabian summed everything up nicely on the Your GSP site and i wrote a piece for Brooks and slowtwitch. Go and check it out if you haven't already.

That is the last blog about ÖTILLÖ. I promise!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tack, Ö TILL Ö!

It was the beautiful nature we expected. It was a bit more pain then we anticipated. It truly was something else.

To put all into words will take me some time. Until then go and check out the official images of this years edition of the Ö TILL Ö with unreal shots from by Nadja Odenhagen and Jakob Edholm.

Just another Monday morning somewhere in Sweden (PicNadja Odenhage)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


This monday is Ö Till Ö day. All Info how to follow the race live can be found HERE.

Thanks a lot for all the nice messages and well wishes of far!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pay close attention

Tune of the day: As i bumped into Keith Flint the other day it must be "Out Of Space"

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

On Point with Robbie Lawless aka Runtramp

A lot of information is available about running and the so named „skyrunning“. Trailrunning is the current top seller and the latest jogging chique. Without a doubt, this sport generates a matchless vibe that is intriguing.

Not many writers bring this vibe across in a precious approach. From the time Sweden based Irishman Robbie Lawless put his Runtramp project on the loose and since he offers his constantly interesting, unique and well thought out athlete portraits via Brian Powell’s, he is a household name for any quality feed that is out there.

Gratefully the Wicklow man responded to some questions for this petite division of the glorious interweb. This gentleman in fact got style.

Me: Whats your sporting background?

Him: I loved running around as a kid, just trying everything really, depending on what was 'in' at the time. The first sport that became an obsession for me was cycling though, when I was about 13 years old. I had absolutely no interest in team sports or the camaraderie that went along with them, so cycling seemed like the ultimate 'loner-sport' for the shy young-fellow that I was. I remember getting my first job with my Dad, who is a tailor and pattern-maker, and getting paid about the equivalent of €50 for a 40 hour week, slaving away carrying rolls of heavy fabrics up endless flights of stairs. I saved every penny of my 'wage' and bought my first road bike, which was a Raleigh Banana, not the expensive model but the team replica if I remember correctly — a lovely black and yellow colour. My Dad made me some lycra cycling clothing to match the bike colour and I used to take epic solo spins up into the Wicklow Mountains, near where I grew up in Ireland. I'd be gone the whole day at times, easily 6 or 7 hours. Those were great days, each one of those rides was a mountain stage of the Tour de France in my imagination — I raced all the greats of the time; LeMond, Kelly, Delgado, Roche, Fignon and, inevitably, broke them all on the final climb to clinch the polka dot jersey — I never wanted the yellow, the 'king of the mountains' was what it was all about. Cycling made way for surfing when I was around 15, after I was taken on a surf trip to the West Coast of Ireland and that ruled my existence for many, many years. In surfing I had found, not only the activity that I loved, but the lifestyle too. Surfing in Ireland back in the early nineties was a long way from the Californian stereotype — there were probably about 100 surfers max in the whole country, it was cold, bleak and it was a proper counter-culture, very underground. People didn't like surfers, they thought they were a bunch of long haired, drug-taking wasters...which wasn't so far from the truth really. I wholly immersed myself in the culture of surfing — I moved to the Atlantic Coast, bought a mobile home that I lived in and just surfed for two years. That was when I was 16 or 17. Through surfing I started to swim more, to build up fitness when there were no waves and I've swam ever since — I still do 3 or 4 pool sessions every week, it's like my meditation. There is something so nice and familiar of just doing lengths of the pool for me now, after 20 years of doing it, it's like putting on my favourite pair of slippers or something. I used to run a little cross country in school but, at that age I didn't really get it, didn't understand the attraction. I started running again in 2000 with my best buddy, an Australian by the name of Craig, we used to run together a couple of times a week, talk about how we were going to change the world and slowly speed up as the competitive juices started to the end of each run we'd be literally sprinting for home. Then we'd go and drink beer afterwards. They were good times and I realised that I wasn't too bad of a runner. It was enough to plant the seed and, slowly at first, then rapidly, running consumed me. Now, I run everyday, write about it, think about it, sometimes dream about it…

Me: Why running? Why sky running?

Him: Running is magic. I mean the 'feeling' of running well, feels like magic. Only a runner knows that feeling, though. Non-runners primarily associate running with pain and suffering...there are elements of that too, of course, but, for me at least, running is something that, overwhelmingly, means joy. I love everything about it, all the little's an amazing way to travel, to move. I love the sound of my stride, the rhythm of it. The sound of my breathing. The way on a really still, windless day, that you can create your own personal breeze just by the movement of your body through the air — how cool is that?! I like the purity of running, the simplicity...Skyrunning, and trail running in general, is like taking all that I love about running and enhancing everything — turning every sensory, physical and emotional dial up to ten. There aren't many things more awesome than running over mountains.

Me: Why did you set up RunTramp?

Him: Curiosity. I love finding out what makes runners tick — what journey they've taken to become who they are or why a designer created a certain running shoe or piece of clothing like they did. I have a genuine interest in both the nitty-gritty and the most mundane, left-field aspects of running. Results or achievements don't really do it for me. I want a good story, a good running story, that's what I aim for. I love writing too, of course, and design. I design a lot of websites for people and I thought it was time to do one for myself, how I wanted and not having to stick to someone else's design brief. I wanted to make RunTramp as simple as possible with a focus on the content, making the articles and text look as nice possible, so people could read them easily and enjoyably. I still spend hours fine-tuning things on RunTramp, becoming obsessed with the smallest detail and spending hours changing the code to get it exactly like I want — things that, more than likely, nobody will ever notice. But it's really cool to see that people enjoy the articles and seem to like what RunTramp is all about.

Me: Which sporting person inspires you?

Him: I guess what really inspires me is anyone who is purely passionate about something — that could be in sport, art, writing, cooking, gardening....whatever. The outlet isn't that important, it's the passion that's inspirational. I'm talking about people that are off doing their thing and aren't chasing recognition, slaps on the back or financial gain — they're the ones so engrossed in their chosen lifestyle that they're not consciously trying to inspire others. To me, that's the coolest. My wife, Linn, also inspires me continuously — she's like a bubbling brook of inspiration. An amazing person to experience life's ups and downs with.

Me: Which tune do you currently have on repeat?

Him: The summer has been pretty tune-free actually — unless we take baby songs into consideration. My ten-month old daughter, Eva, got a CD of 'alternative' Swedish baby songs called 'Minitrams' by a guy called Dan Bornemark, who is the son of a famous kid's songwriter called Gullan Bornemark here in Sweden. It's so addictive, resistance is futile...once those songs take seed in your brain, it's all over. There's one song called 'geggamoja' that's really, really catchy. It includes the line 'Pappa talar flytande geggamoja' which can be roughly translated to 'Dad talks a load of flowing crap' — which is not too far from the truth.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


I’m pretty privileged to accept parcels from the ultraSPORTS dudes. Dr. Feil knows how to mix things up properly. While I’m still believing in a mainly non-supplementary diet his stuff adds faultlessly.

Over the last few years I became a vast supporter of the ultraBAR and the exceptionally practical and well thought out Gel Chips. There is no faking when it comes to the ingredients. Straight forward German quality just made around the corner of my house.

Monday, 11 August 2014

On Point with Alex Ostroy aka Poseur Sport

This guy is up for some visual excitement. Classy, knowledgeable, uncommon and distinct. I gently would use this vocabulary to explain Alex Ostroy's effort with his brand Poseur Sport.

While sponsor directed design every so often seem to go beyond the elegant world of cycling and "en vogue" brands do want a lot of coins for their letters on a simple bib or a shirt, Alex’s produces characteristic kits - Gear to remember.

The Creative Director of Greg LeMond Bicycles just found the time to put away his bike and sketchbook for a moment and gently answered three questions.


Me: How did you start cycling?

Him: My father is an economics professor who spends long hours writing indecipherable mathematical formulas on yellow pads. He doesn't know Matisse from Mr. Brainwash. I, on the other hand, barely made it out of high school math. But he had a group of European grad students when I was a kid in the early ‘70s who turned him onto road cycling, which was an exotic hobby for an American at the time. It's the one thing I seemed to have inherited from him.

Cycling and art have been my life since childhood. I was accepted into the Rhode Island School of Design after high school, but heard nothing for the US national cycling team, or the Olympic development committee, so my path was clear. Out of stubbornness, I have kept trying to ride anyway. When friends from childhood look me up, I feel like I couldn't be more dull or less transformed as an adult—I still draw and ride my bike.

Me: What inspires you?

Him: NYC is easily my biggest inspiration. I spend a lot of time out of the studio just looking at things: art shows in Chelsea, the way people dress on the street, graffiti and sticker tags on mailboxes, spice labels from the Indian grocery down the street. For years I lived on the same street Frank Stella's studio was on in the East Village, I could see the pieces of his work through the huge transoms and two blocks away is St Marks where runaway Punk kids have been hanging out since to 70s, with their own unique aesthetic.

I have sketchbooks filled with ideas from walking around the city of things that I think I might be able to make into a jersey. Cycling has a rich tradition of design, but to keep it alive and current, it’s important to let in other influences.

Me: What is your favorite jersey?

Him: Greg LeMond had a great kit career, La Claire Vie and Renault, even Team Z. Greg had a lot of bad luck in his career but he was lucky with the kits. When he asked me to design his new line of jerseys and bikes I was honored to work with all that great heritage.

LeMond told me a great story about the origin of the La Clare Vie "Mondrain" jersey: Bernard Hinulant and Bernard Tapie wanted to make a big splash with this new team—it was to be unprecedented in every way, bigger and better than any team that had gone before it. They hired a very expensive designer to create the jersey and had a big unveiling for the team and the press. The jersey was all black—that’s it. Hinualt and Tapie hated it, so they found a woman who designed dresses to quickly make something. She came up with the Mondrain design. In women's fashion, Mondrain dresses and prints had already been around for more than 20 years, but introducing that to cycling was brilliant and highly original.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ultimate Direction - Handy 10 (Jenny Collection)

There is not much to talk about really. This trifling chunk of gear is just a handheld. Not your usual handheld though.

With a capacity of only 0.3 litres it is certainly not an immense chunk of water/plastic you have to transport. For me it is all I need during this time of the year. Ergonomically formed bottles are nice and do not always work for me. This one does.

The small mesh pocket conveys all I need during lunchtime or evening jogs plus a GoPro if you like. The “Handy 10” does perfectly work during my habitual day-to-day runs in the heat but not during longer races I guess.

And that is all I have to say. Simple does it!

Tune of the day: Noisia — Shaking Hands (What a beast of a tune…)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Engadin Chronicles

More Engadin SwimRun Love on our YourGSP tumblr. Go and check it out. It is amazing… 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Racereport 2014-10 : Stimme-Firmenlauf 5k

Damn! I was trotting five kilometers on cement last night. Horizontal, speedy and sticky. Well, I’m not too sure about the speedy though.

Checking the record, my 18:18 was my slowest time for this distance ever. Harmfully stoked about that ending. Certainly it was excitement. It is a great distance and with 6.200 people running this corporate race it was something special for sure. Went out hard and faded hard.

Now it’s back to SwimRun specific preparation. I cannot wait to head to Sweden in 30 days.

"They shootin'! Aw made you look..."

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Riding bike with Uli

I spend a lot of time with this dude. We met in Ireland what feels decades ago. We developed a sincere friendship. We met last weekend to celebrate his sons christening. We rode bikes around Ticino. Great as always!

#Selfie – For sure!
Plunging  down Alpe Tedesco

Horizontal. Pretty unusual around Ticino 

Ponte Tresa – Coffee Stop!
And up again. 
"We doin.. big pimpin up in N.Y.C. - It's just that Jigga Man, Pimp C, and B-U-N B"
Recovery - Ticino Style

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