Calgary duo complete world-famous Otillo Swimrun in Sweden
Imagine competing in a sport in which the anxiety is so high, you struggle to sleep for a week before the competition because of the fear of getting seriously hurt.
That’s what happened to Calgary’s Calvin Zaryski before competing in the world-famous Otillo Swimrun in Sweden earlier this month.
“One team might be over to your right, you’re over to the left, people are falling on rocks,” Zaryski said.
“Our concerns, obviously, were we didn’t want to hurt ourselves.”
Two weeks ago, Zaryski and Myron Tetreault achieved something only six Canadians have done when they finished the Otillo Swimrun.
“The race takes place on an archipelago just off the coast of Stockholm in Sweden,” Tetreault said. “It’s a series of 26 islands and you move as a team through the islands, switching from the run sections to the swim sections.”
In a swimrun competition, you must compete as a duo tethered together, running for 65 kilometres and swimming another 10 kilometres between and over islands.
It took the pair almost 10 hours to complete the course.
“We were blessed with one of the best days in the history of the Otillo,” Zaryski said. “We had calm seas, like glass, and warm temperatures. The ocean was only about 18 degrees C, so to be honest, we got the best day we possibly could have.”
Zaryski is a former triathlete turned endurance coach, while Tetreault grew up swimming, playing water polo and competing in Ironman competitions. He’s now a lawyer and entrepreneur.
“Coming from a triathlon background, we have the swimming and running experience,” Tetreault said. “It just seemed like a really neat way to combine adventure racing, route finding, trail running with the swimming and running.”
Both are riding the wave of the relatively new sport.
“It’s a sport that is actually exploding,” Tetreault said. “It’s huge in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.”
There are currently over 100 swimruns worldwide; Quebec hosts Canada’s only competition.
“Pure adventure, going across landscapes,” Zaryski said. “This is relatively new to me, so it’s really exciting.”
The two have known each other for 10 years but bonded more than ever in those 10 hours, and can’t wait to compete together again.
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