Meet Nina – one of our nine impressive runners, assigned to run with the teams and film their adventure. With only a couple of small breaks she was running with the teams for over 60 hours, all the way to the finish line at Landsort.
What were your duties during the One Water Race?
I was assigned to run with the teams and film their adventure. While the racers were swimming, I was in the safety boat and talked to the team’s support crew. Once they transitioned to land, I jumped ashore and followed with a GoPro camera at the ready and filmed their running, conversations, injuries, anything that could be interesting. I also had constant contact with the race HQ being able to communicate in advance how the team felt, where we were going, if they were about to break or if there were any other things that happened during the race.
Which team were you assigned to during the race?
I was initially assigned team number 1, USA, and followed them from the start until they broke the race, then I jumped over to team number 2, Sweden, and followed them until they finally reached the finish in Landsort.
What was the biggest challenge during the race?
The hardest part was not being allowed to talk to the team while filming them! We were not supposed to “exist” and I understand why. When they are at their most tired, a friendly chat with someone other than the team members can give a lot of energy and we would not give them that. Then I wanted so much to encourage, support, and give good advice when they did not really know the Swedish terrain. There were also times when you as a runner had to do something other than run. We were on an island where we came to a deep swamp. It was not possible for me to run around and then try to find the team again, and the team chose to go through the swamp so I simply had to jump in wearing only my running clothes thinking that I could wade well over, but realized that I did not bottom out so it was just to start swimming … then fast as hell locate the team, which has already crossed and started running again.
The other difficult thing that I remember feeling was how far and long I would have to run. You had every opportunity to rest, and I thought I would manage a maximum of 10 hours in a row! But surprisingly, it was difficult to take breaks! I remember when it was time for my second break and another camera runner would take my place, but I knew that Team 1 would break shortly, they had talked about it for a couple of hours, so I chose to stay. They broke after about 38 hours, and I had had a 2 hour rest since the start but could not do anything but continue to film until the end. Then when I got to the race HQ, after being part of their emotional end of the race, I just wanted to get back out and film the next team! I didn’t want to rest!
What was the greatest experience/memory you take with you?
The biggest experience is probably the feeling and connection you get when you run with the teams, even if you are quiet and quite invisible, you still get a relationship with them. I remember when my first team broke down and I filmed their conversation at the Check Point, they were crying, and I was crying. I had filmed them for almost 38 hours, and you get to know the people quite well during that time. You also get to know the team support crew, who is on the safety boat, and the skippers. The boat is where you take the opportunity to talk!
When I later jumped on team 2 and followed them the for the rest of the race and got to follow them as they ran at Landsort, towards the lighthouse and the finish and realize that this team had been out for 58 hours. It’s crazy what they did! And I kind of got to be a part of it!
It’s crazy what they did! And I kind of got to be a part of it!
It was incredibly memorable to take part in 60 hours of adventure and see all the work behind it, to experience the team’s support team preparing and getting ready, and to be a part of the team’s experience, which is everything from arguments, laughter, high to low conversations, hugs, encouragement and sometimes the misery of injuries, extreme tiredness, and abandonment. You got to experience so much just by running with a camera and filming, which I will always take with me.
What do you do when not being part of the OWR-organization?
I’m a long-distance runner and enjoy it the most when I leave the asphalt behind and get into nature! I have also been running on a couple of the islands as it is my home turf. I’m a pretty bad swimmer so was glad that I would not swim with them (although there were shorter swims on two occasions when it was not possible to get around in any other way, and since my job was to film it was just to hang on)
On a daily basis, I am a group leader at a real estate company, so I do not work with anything related to the nature of the competition, but it was not needed for the role I had. As a runner, you really just need to have some speed in your legs and love to be part of an adventure!