SPORTS. Sahlgrenska SwimRun partners Ralph Peeker and Maria Frånlund are pleased with their performance in the Swimrun World Championship, which took place on September 5. The race saw a strong line-up, sunshine and lots of team spirit.
This is considered one of the world’s toughest one-day competitions. Participants run and swim in wetsuits and running shoes across and between 26 islands, from Sandhamn to Utö in Stockholm’s archipelago.
This year’s race, the eleventh in a row, treated participants to good weather and challenging swimming. According to Ralph Peeker: “Swimming 10k in a cold, rough sea is not exactly a walk in the park. There were sections where the islanders were really cheering us on. It was an unforgettable experience to be able to take part in this kind of incredibly demanding race together with such a strong and positive teammate as Maria. She is the type of person who is at her best when its toughest. Not every team was like us. We saw several cases of teams nearly or completely collapsing.”
Ralph Peeker and Maria Frånlund made it to the end of the race and placed just ahead of the mid point of the pack. This is an achievement they are very satisfied with: “The line-up was incredibly strong, so we understood from the start that we were going to have to fight with the leaders of the pack. We were pleased at just completing the race and were hoping to finish at under 13 hours, which we managed to do with 30 minutes to spare. We actually could have finished a bit quicker, but we chose to support a team that was having a harder time. Then we caught up to a French team, so in the end we ran across the finish line arm-in-arm together with two other teams.”
What are your plans for future swimrun races?
“This is our favorite sport! Maria is probably ending her season with the World Championship, but I’m going to do the Koster Swimrun in early October. A bunch of us will probably compete next season, and Maria and I will likely do some races together. Beyond that, I’ll probably do a number of cross-country races as well as Ironman Kalmar.”