ÖTILLÖ 2016 | Q&A With Nicolas Remires

In advance of the toughest race in the world, ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championships, we caught up with some of the top competing athletes to see what ÖTILLÖ means to them and how they train for this grueling challenge.

First in this series focuses on 3rd place finisher from 2015 and aspiring 1st place finisher for 2016, Nicolas Remires, Nick is a smart racer and most of all he knows his limits and will keep his cool in the first half of the race when everyone else is pushing too hard.  This mentality brought Nick an impressive 3rd place finish in his 1st event last year. Today we bring you the inside track on what drives Nicolas to be one of the best swimrunners in the world:

Q.) Tell us about your career as an athlete, how did you begin and what drives you to get out and train every day?

A.) I used to play football until I was 20 years old, then some endurance running and triathlons, every distance. Then a period when I was road cycling a lot, before I decided to only stick to swimrun.


Q.) How did you find out about ÖTILLÖ and what made you interested in racing in one of the toughest races on earth?

A.) I found out about ÖTILLÖ when I moved to Sweden in 2011. Then I started training with some top swimrunner. I wanted to race in that event when I understood that I had an opportunity to race with the best guys in this new sport. I found ÖTILLÖ to be like a big adventure to share with a friend. I liked that from the start.  


Q.) What emotions do you feel when you cross the line after competing in ÖTILLÖ?

You feel like you have accomplished a strong journey with a friend. Lots of things happen from the start to the finish. Mentally it is hard. Passing this finish line, after climbing the stairs is a moment I will always remember… when you focus during 8h30, live some intense moments like helping your friend, feeling low or feeling high, passing this line is a bit like an emotional release. Everything just stops!


Q.) How do you prepare to be psychologically ready for race day? How do you handle the stress?

A.) You’re getting yourself prepared psychologically every day by keeping your goals in mind during training. You have to know why you’re doing a swimming exercise, why you’re doing an intervals session and so on.

Then the next level will be to study the course, to train on the course, to look at the maps carefully. That’s important.

In fact it’s necessary not to let the luck decide everything in your race. If you are prepared physically, you will get the confidence that you can do it. If you know the course, you feel like at home, in your environment. But you can’t control the others. That’s why it’s important to know also your partner, have a good relationship with him and be confident in your team work.


Q.) What has been the most challenging moment in your career?

A.) In my swimrunner career, my most challenging moment was when I understood that I won’t do ÖTILLÖ in 2014. I was a bit too naive and thought I was ready enough for it. But no! I realised that 3 weeks before the race and I didn’t have a chance in that race. But it was really positive for the year after because I trained differently, I picked the perfect partner for me and we performed !


Q.) Do you have any advice for aspiring racers?

A.) My advice would be to enjoy the moment, the adventure and the experience with somebody you like. Take a friend or somebody you like and look at a map. Design a swimrun trip. Fill your pockets with the minimum gear you need and discover. There is always a piece of ground to run, and when there is not, then just swim to the next one.

Even racing is an adventure. It is higher pace and we follow a marked track, but it is a learning experience.


Catch the action LIVE from the final on Monday the 5th September direct from OTILLO 


Stay tuned for our second interview with the best German racer from 2015 Andre Hook.


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Alan Lund

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