Race Report 2018
Photo: Teemu Oksanen / Järvestä järveen swimrun www.laketolake.fi
Last Sunday the 3rd edition of Lake to Lake swimrun took place in the beautiful nature of Luukki national park, close to Espoo and Helsinki. Despite a weather forecast of thunder and rain a record number of 111 teams participated in the race. What makes this event stand out in my opinion is the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Sometimes I almost forget that we are there to do a race and not just socialise catching up with friends, first timers and Ötillö finishers. I have to say that Krisse Vaano (Race Director) and a bunch of other passionate swimrunners (like for instance Janne Räsänen & Co) really did a great job at building a unique swimrun community in Finland. I think that people start to realise that swimrun is really all about sharing emotions and experiences no matter who you are or what you do. There is no fancy gear to show off and let’s be honest trying to look pretty in a wetsuit is a bit overkill. So the race is about 12,5 km long with 12 run sections and 11 swim sections of which the longest is 560m and the shortest around 50m. The terrain varies between single trail, gravel paths and some rocky outcrops. The longest run section is about 2,5km.
Utö swimrun is one of our favourites. Why?...because it was our first ever race as a team, back in 2014. It took us by surprise then and still 4 years later it’s no different. It’s so friggin intense! I think it’s the contrast that is unique in this race: hot runs vs cold swims and fast gravel roads vs technical rocky trails. For us it’s on the Island of Love where the swimrun season truly starts. “You can run but you can’t hide!” We already figured out a few years ago that pacing and monitoring energy levels were going to play an important role on this course.
Five months into my rehab things are going into the right direction. In this blog I would like to share a few things that helped me get back on my feet again. The first three months were completely without training: one month in hospital followed by two months in a full leg cast. The good thing is that it allowed my body to start the healing process without me constantly interfering with it. Nevertheless when the leg cast finally came off I felt pretty handicapped and lost. Where to start? Muscle imbalance, shortened tendons, a wound not wanting to close and last but not least I was unable to bend my (right) leg. Luckily it didn’t take long to figure out that the answer to a speedy recovery was simply to dive into the world of non-impact training. So for the next two months I spent hours in the pool aqua jogging with the oldies, cross trainer in the gym, uphill walking and off course lots of swimming, stretching and foam rolling.
Is there doping abuse in swimrun? Yes? No? Not sure? then keep reading…
I never imagined writing a blog about rehabilitation, but I guess there is a first time for everything. So for those who don’t know what happened, on October 5th I fell with my knee on a sharp rock during the epic Ötillö swimrun worldchampionships in Sweden. In a split second my right quadriceps tendon was cut right above the knee cap. After two surgeries and liters of different antibiotics I was finally released from hospital albeit in a full leg cast running from hip to toe. Hopping around like an “outcast penguin” futile things like: sitting on a toilet seat, driving a car or a spontaneous wrestling game with my son became a major hurdle. So hereby, respect to all those people out there who have a mobility issue because no matter how you look at it everything just takes more time and more effort.
Me: Thomas Schreven
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