Ångaloppet 2018 in English

I’ve written a bunch of race reports in Swedish, making them more or less inaccessible to all those people of other languages interested in this Sweden-borne swimrun sport. So this time, I’ll give you the tour of one of Sweden’s biggest races: Ångaloppet! Although, I’m not sure its just a race — more like a movement. Ångaloppet is for everyone! There’s a family race where an adult and a child swimrun together, short distances for trying the sport and hand paddles and lines for towing are banned. It’s supposed to be easy and fun to get into this sport and I think Ångaloppet is doing a great job in making a wider audience discover and appreciate the magnificent fun that this sport brings.

At the sharp end there is still a lot of fun and companionship, trust me, although heart is pounding and we’re pressing on in tight competition. The main event of Ångaloppet is no more than 22 km, which is short in the context of swimrun racing but still packs 24 swims. Water entries and exists all the time and a lot of trail/off trail makes for a hectic ride and tons of adrenaline! I so enjoy the feeling of being a hunted animal in the wilderness, or out hunting running through technical terrain and trying to outswim someone to the next islet.

Today I was back racing with my primary teammate Tomas Granberg of TG Swimrun notoriety. With no towline allowed, this race favors our very similar capacities in both disciplines of swimming and running. Also, we are both stronger in technical terrain than on runnable, which makes this course suit us. Usually we’ll for sure screw up something in a race but today was a fortunate exception. We executed a close to perfect race, which allowed us to advance as the race unfolded and cross the line as fifth finishers with the tenth best time ever on this course, to the best of our knowledge. Really pleased with our performance!

This bodes well for the big one, arising on the horizon like a fiend out of the Baltic ocean. I’m talking ÖTILLÖ World Championship 2018 — the relentless race of races that brings all the beauty of the salty and harsh archipelago along with massive fatigue. And we are now only three weeks out. That’s one more week of milage and then gradual tapering for Tomas and I. So looking forward to face the strobe of that first swim!

Oh. And the winners of today’s race, brothers Lars and Jonas Ekman of Bröderna bäver, are contenders for the win of the world championship. Last year they did the third fastest time ever in a world championship race and that was a step up from the year before. They are getting better and better, it looks, and I think that this year it will be gold for the brothers. Remember where you read it first.

Tomas and I having recently overtaken two orienteers.
With said orienteers who went out at an impressive pace on the first run.
Setting out controlled this is an early swim as number seven I think, working our way closer to the front as the race unfolds.
Participant of the family race. Gear in check!
Swimrun is fun and it’s for everyone.

Ångaloppet 2017

Ångaloppet gick bra för Tomas och mig. Älskar adrenalinet på kortare tävlingar med fin konkurrens, som denna. Terränglöpning är mer till vår fördel än lättsprunget, förefaller det. Den stora andelen tung terräng tillsammans med att vi lyckades simma förbi några gav oss en femteplats. Vi gick ut ganska lugnt bara en bit snabbare än 4-tempo medan många tryckte på på långa grusvägen. Hälften av dessa snabbspringare käkade vi ändå upp på de inledande längre simningarna.

Sen var det fight om femteplatsen med två lag under hela andra halvan av loppet, dvs runt en timma. Framför allt låg vi jämnt med Viktor Lenke och Micheal Mleczko länge men lyckades hålla dem bakom oss — om än strax bankom — de sista kilometrarna. Kul att tävla med Tomas. Vi är mycket jämna i både simning och löpning. Dessutom är han — på teknisk engelska — a great guy. ;)

Joakim Perani, Tomas Granberg och Andreas Ribbefjord på halaste klippan.
Joakim Perani, Tomas Granberg och Andreas Ribbefjord på halaste klippan. Foto: Alexander Höglund / Ångaloppet.
Andreas och Tomas. Ångaloppet 2017.
Andreas och Tomas. Ångaloppet 2017. Foto: Marcus Melander / Ångaloppet.