There’s nothing more at the forefront of Malta (and the majority of the world’s) concerns right now than stepping up to support in keeping our oceans clean. Hipsters are carrying their metal straws
everywhere. Activists are gluing themselves to public transport. And iGaming companies? They’re tackling the issue with a healthy dose of sport.
With just two weeks to go until the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series in Malta, preparations are gearing up for what is set to be a day filled with athletic charity and eco-friendly fun for any fitness fanatic.
Malta’s history has seen it play stage to a host of events over the years. The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series will end the season in Malta on November 23rd and 24th offering one final shot at getting the necessary point to qualify for the ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship held in the Swedish archipelago next summer.
For those that are not familiar with this sport, Swimrun is an endurance sport in which you run and swim along a set course of cross country/trail runs and open water swims without stopping in between. In Swimrun participants transition between running and swimming many times during a single race, running in their wetsuits and swimming with their shoes.
There are three different races set up across the Malta event that hopes to raise awareness for the current state of our oceans and seas, while also providing athletes with a platform to showcase their skills with responsibility.
Racers can choose from three distances:
- Experience (5.4 km)
- Sprint (14.4 km)
- World Series (39 km)
Saturday will see Experience and Sprint take place around the Golden Bay area, while Sunday will showcase the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series – starting in Valletta and finishing in Golden Bay. Whichever race you’re taking part in will surely be a fantastic journey, taking you from the historical heritage of Malta’s history to the beautiful nature along the coastline of our shores.
The average air temperature at the end of November is around 18°C, and the water is around 20°C.
The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series has teamed up with Swimrun Malta and iGaming Operator Mr Green to organise the races, using the #CleanTheOcean campaign to put the authority of cleaning the areas used back into the hands of those who use them. And collaborating with companies that definitely understand that importance – Mr Green charters a boat for the summer and sends its own staff out on a daily basis to collect plastic waste they find floating around – this race is sure to be the island’s greenest one yet.
Swimrun is one of the fastest growing endurance sports
in the world, and with more than 700 Swimrun events taking
place around the world each year, what makes Malta’s unique is that, with the help of Mr Green and the support from the local
swimrun community, route-clean-up efforts are set to take place in the days leading up to the event.
The ÖTILLÖ spirit runs rife thanks to teamwork, whether it be between the racers themselves or within the organisations working towards the event taking place.
Together with the iGaming company Mr Green, they wanted to bring together the local community to take part in something more than just a race… so they’ve put in place a few rules for participation.
The official rules do allow for runners to carry with them items like a pull buoy and paddles but they do stress that these items must be carried throughout the entire race. This totally feasible and should-have-always-been-in-place rule that stipulates any person taking part in the race will be disqualified if they are caught dropping litter on the tracks. Because littering isn’t cool, nor is it clever.
The novel no-littering rule isn’t even the race’s only effort to combat the pollution of our environments and ecosystems though. Absolutely no plastic bottles will be used by the organizers, nor will they be using spray-bottles.
But it shouldn’t just be the participants that have to clean the tracks. We reckon those of you who’ll trek out to cheer on from the sidelines should also make a conscious effort to keep things tidy… and you can start by leaving those single-use plastics at home and making use of a reusable bottle!
Responsibility should fall to all of us to keep the planet clean, but the efforts of Mr Green and the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series should definitely be praised for using their creativity in raising awareness for such an important cause.
If you’re thinking of testing your strength in the races, you’ve got three choices to pick from: a 5km race, a 15km sprint and a 40km world series event.
And with a Swimrun Malta community steadily growing along our shores, you can expect this event to return for many years to come. They’ve already held a test race in November 2018 and the turnout was unreal.
The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series origin was a bet between four friends in Sweden back in 2002 and since then, not only in Malta, the team has seen an increase in athletes favouring trail running instead of the usual road tracks. People obviously want to get back in touch with the world around them, and in the literal current climate of today, there has never been a better time to do so.