The 10th Anniversary of Norseman Xtreme Triathlon was celebrated by holding two races, one on Saturday August 4th and one on Sunday August 5th. This enabled twice the amount of athletes to compete in what is probably the world's toughest triathtlon. In all, the event gathered approximately 450 competitors from 37 countries.
The Norseman's inaugural race back in 2003 was born when 21 athletes jumped off the car ferry and started one of the world's great endurance challenges in one of the world's most breathtaking locations. It has gained popularity since then. Just last year, two-time Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom participated and won the men's race.
The Saturday winners were Julia Nikolopoulos, setting a new women course record with 13:00:40 and Arnaud Epp 11:37:05. On Sunday the winners were Henrik Oftedal, setting a new men's course record with the impressive time of 10.23.24, and Annett Finger, setting yet another women's course record in less than 24 hours, with her 12.17.34. Not having fully recovered from illness in 2011, previous record holder Björn Andersson pulled out of the Sunday race during the bike leg.
At the mountain top, Oftedal gave credit to his support, saying that "you can't win this race alone!"
2012 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon Results:
Eidfjord, Norway - August 4-5, 2012
|Men's Results - Aug. 4th||Time||
|Women's Results - Aug. 4th||Time|
|Per Øyvind Alvim||11:51:10||
|Ingvill Merete Stedøy-Johansen||14:12:14|
|Men's Results - Aug. 5th||Time||
|Women's Results - Aug. 5th||Time|
|Lars Petter Stormo||10:42:45||
|Lisbeth Olsen Kenyon||12:46:42|
|Cesilie Skollerud Hegna||12:59:52|
|Vibeke Stærkebye Nørstebø||13:08:49|
|* = New Course Record|
Both races were carried out successfully and in good weather conditions, allowing the athletes to also enjoy the spectacular landscape of the Eidfjord, the Hardangervidda plateau and the Gaustatoppen mountain. The swim on both days offered the frisky temperature of 13,5 C and beautiful, still waters. In the ride up the valley of Måbødalen and across the Hardangervidda the athletes had the wind in their backs and clear and partly sunny weather. On Saturday, the athletes were able to finish the marathon in magnificent weather at Gaustatoppen, whereas Sunday offered some light and heavy showers during the last part of the cycling and a cloudy mountain top. When asked to describe her day, multiple ironman Hawaii age group winner Lisbeth Olsen Kenyon exclaimed "I am flabbergasted!"
Norseman is the world's toughest long-distance distance triathlon. It is also the most northern, taking place at the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska. The race is a travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Norway. It is not a normal circuit-race as it starts in a fjord and finishes at mountain Gaustatoppen at 1,850 meters above sea level. Total ascent is 5,000 meters. The water temperature is normally about 15.5 degrees C, and the air temperature normally ranges from 6 to 28 degrees C through the race day. The prize to the winner is the same as to the last to finish at the top of the mountain; a fabulous black t-shirt.
Norseman is owned and organized by Hardangervidda Triatlon Klubb. The approx 20 members of the club are the main crew of the event. These people are mainly either active slow moving triathletes or locals from the Eidfjord and Rjukan community.