(Article originally published on our sister site endurance.biz in August 2023.) Swimrun AG, the Swiss-based owner of ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship, and the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series, has acquired a majority stake in Swimrun USA, a leading organizer of swimrun races in the US and the company behind the Ödyssey Swimrun Series.
All Ödyssey Swimrun races will become part of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series in 2024, offering full world series ranking points to qualifiy for ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship.
Ödyssey owners, Lars Finanger, Aaron Palaian and Brent Molsberry, will continue to manage the US events. Finanger will be President, and Palaian the Head of Operations, of the newly established Swimrun USA operation.
Finanger will also become a partner in Swimrun AG, helping to grow ÖTILLÖ internationally.
For 2024, five ÖTILLÖ races in the US and five in Europe are confirmed. New events are already in preparation in both the US and Europe. The full event calendar will be released in the autumn/fall this year.
An ÖTILLÖ release added that… ‘This step underlines the commitment of the new management team behind ÖTILLÖ, to further grow the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series internationally, after taking over the day-to-day management at the beginning of 2023.’
Christian Pirzer, Chairman of Swimrun AG, said “Our journey with ÖTILLÖ started in 2015. The last eight years have been an exciting time, with great wins and even bigger challenges especially during the pandemic.
“We came out stronger and better prepared from this time and now have the right setup to further grow the great sport of swimrun and the ÖTILLÖ brand. Lars and Aaron did a fantastic job in the US. We are proud to welcome them to our team. They will continue to develop swimrun in the US market, but also help us to improve our overall product wordwide.”
Lars Finanger, President of Swimrun USA, said “Joining the ÖTILLÖ family is a dream come true. Back in 2014, I had the opportunity to race at the World Champs through the legendary Stockholm Archipelago course and knew it was my calling to bring the amazing sport of swimrun across the pond to the US.
“Thankfully Jeff Cole shared this vision and together we launched Casco Bay Islands, in Jeff’s backyard of Portland, Maine. We were met with adventure-minded athletes craving this new style of endurance racing. We earned their trust and they continue to tell all their friends about how incredible their experiences are with swimrun.
“These past seven years we’ve welcomed thousands of athletes from all corners of the endurance world into the swimrun community and we know that partnering with ÖTILLÖ will give us even more credibility to reach even more athletes in the future.”