ÖTILLÖ! Meeting Nature Writ Large

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“This is our day. Now let’s make the best of it versus comparing ourselves to others or our expectations.”

Chris Hauth


Today I am joined by my friend, coach and teammate Chris Hauth for a special edition of Coach’s Corner – a spin on my typical podcast format — to recap our breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime adventure competing in the Ötillö Swimrun World Championships in Sweden.

A sub-9 hour Ironman, Chris (@AIMPCoach) is a former professional triathlete, two-time Olympic Swimmer and one of the world’s most respected endurance coaches. In 2006, Chris won the Ironman Coeur D’Alene and went on to be the first American amateur & 4th overall American at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

When he’s not training and racing, Chris runs AIMP Coaching, mentoring a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from elite professionals — including Ironman and Western States top finishers, Ultraman winners and Olympic Trials qualifiers — to first time half-marathoners. Under Chris’ tutelage since 2008, he deftly guided me through three Ultraman World Championships, EPIC5. and now Ötillö.

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This past Monday, Chris and I joined 300 athletes from 24 countries to race Ötillö as a two-man team, traversing 26 islands spread across the outer-reaches of the Swedish archipelago on foot and by sea. All told, 40 miles of running and 6 miles of swimming.

It was a truly extraordinary experience. Punishing. Humbling. Brutal, beautiful and beyond extreme.

Along the way we met gale force winds. Sideways rain. Bone-chilling Baltic waters. And six-foot swells. We were on our hands and knees, scaling vertical granite slippery as ice. We trudged through bogs in knee-deep mud. Loose rocks left us flat on our backs. We bushwhacked terrain so difficult, so impossibly technical, it all feels now like an impossible dream.

Today we share the incredible story.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,

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P.S. – For more on the adventure, please read Adam Skolnick’s piece for the New York Times, A Brutal Competition, Island to Island, in Sweden. I am deeply honored  to be featured. But I didn’t get here by myself. It has been a long, challenging road. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has supported me and my work over the years. I am truly humbled.

Listen & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud | Stitcher

Photographs courtesy of Tomasz Jakubowski

charity: water

I want to personally thank everyone who responded to my podcast with Scott Harrison and donated to charity: water by joining The Spring. As of the date of this writing, the RRP community has collectively raised enough revenue to build 4 wells annually! Amazing. Inspired by your generosity, my company has decided to sponsor one well per year – so that makes 5 wells for 2017. But why not make it 10? For just $20-$40 in monthly donations (100% of which go directly to clean water projects), you can make an incalculable difference in countless lives by investing in a world where everyone has clean water. There is simply no better feeling than providing a basic, life-altering human right. To learn more and join, please visit The Spring at cwtr.org/richroll.com 

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Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

DesignCrowd: Custom graphic, logo and web design from over 550,000 designers around the world! Get the perfect custom design, every time! Visit designcrowd.com/RICHROLL or enter promo code RICHROLL at checkout and receive up to $100 off your design project now!

Thrive Market: Your online market for super healthy food at 25-50% off retail shipped right to your home. Visit: thrivemarket.com/richroll and get an EXTRA 25% off on your first box of organic and non-GMO products — PLUS: free shipping!! Never pay full price for healthy food again.

Background, Context & Reference

Notable People Discussed

  • Jonas Colting: Swedish ultra triathlon Champion and 3 time ÖTILLÖ winner
  • Michael Lemmel: ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series race director
  • Jakob Edholm:  ÖTILLÖ – Swimrun World Series official photographer
  • Tomasz Jakubowski: official photographer for  ÖTILLÖ 2017 Team 23
  • Josefine Ås: PR director for ÖTILLÖ – Swimrun World Series 2017
  • Precision Hydration:  ÖTILLÖ – Swimrun World Series official hydration supplier
  • ROKA: sports apparel and eyeware

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering, show notes and interstitial music; Shawn Patterson for graphics. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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