The inaugural Allgäu Swimrun held on October 8th, 2016 marked the first international Swimrun Race in Germany.
First? There have been some Swimrun events before but taking a “true” definition like “teams of two register to enter a Swimrun Race” the German Swimrun premiere took place in the foothills of the alps – the picturesque Allgäu Region around the Rottachsee and Grüntensee lakes.
Registration before race day had some international flavour – alongside the “first czech Swimrunners witnessed” teams from twelve nations made their way to Bavaria and took the challenge of swimming 3.5 and running 23.5 km across 13 sections, including a whopping 560m of altitude gain.
Some well-known names could also be found and would be standing out the next day in …
Pre-start was a classic: The alpenhorn blowers brought the right alpine mood into a scenery of mostly first-time Swimrunners and you could sense the uptightness and “what the f*** are we doing here?!” in the field.
The weather? Well, this southernmost region of Germany is known to be kind of chilly outside (and often also inside) the summer season. But this Saturday the typical Allgäu weather decided to notch it up a bit and served a misty 6-12° C
with drizzle and the option to kind of “warm up” in some 12-14° C waters. Hopes were to have it all lighten up during the day – which sadly never happened.
The harsh conditions would demand a lot from the teams meaning that usually you get chilled in the swims and then warm up again during the runs – here the warm-up part did not really happen. The eventual 15% DNF rate was astonishingly low for these conditions and proved the “gnarlyness” of the starters.
As the cannon went off so did the usual suspects, teams Trailblog.de and Campz – powered by Icebug. So the local German Ö till Ö routiniers basically turned the race into a duel racing side by side for the first half of the race. In the later stages team Trailblog.de managed to nibble off second for second, eventually winning the Allgäu Swimrun premiere by three minutes in 2:47:33h vs. 2:50:15h. Team Alte Wasserratten Triathlon Potsdam rounded up the podium in a time of 3:27:47 h.
The women’s race saw a demonstration of dominance by team Salming Swimrun Germany breaking the tape in 3:35:19h. The Trumer Tri Team was runner-up and the Czech ladies from Prague – team Auf erste Versuch – got their first podium in theirs first Swimrun start.
The mixed category was a closer affair with a 15 minutes window for the complete podium and team VFL Münster Swimrunner taking the top spot in 3:14:09 (which also would have made the podium in the men’s race). Runner-up was team Main Ausdauershop and the “French delegation” team GAAZ came in third.
Some two years of planning paid off for the organizers of the Allgäu Swimrun and brought a professionally run race on a challenging and varied course in a beautiful landscape (or at least what you can see of it on a foggy day).
Taking in account that some nature reserve areas are raced through it’s promising to see local organizations open to support and having some greeting words from the mayor also shows the identification with the race in the region.
Surely this premiere will spread the word for Swimrun in Germany even further – looking forward to the next edition come October 2017!
Learn more about the team behind the race on http://www.swimrun-germany.com/