The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is a non-Ironman branded triathlon, point to point, race held in Norway annually. The distances are equivalent to those of an Ironman race with the swim starting from the loading bay of a car ferry, through the water of the Hardangerfjord fjord to the local town, Eidfjord. At Eidfjord the competitors transition onto their bikes and then cycle 180 km through the mountains, the first 40 km of which is uphill (reaching 1200 m above sea level). After transition two (at Austbygdi, 190 m above sea level), the competitors then run 42.2 km of which the first 25 km (to Rjukan) are flat and following this they end up climbing the local mountain, Gaustatoppen, 1,880 m above sea level.
The race is "unsupported" so competitors need to have personal back up crews that follow them with cars to provide them with food and drink. The support crews also have to accompany their competitor up the final mountain climb due to the inherent dangers of being highly fatigued on a mountain. During this final mountain climb competitors are required to carry a backpack containing emergency food and clothing should the weather turn, whilst they are on the mountain.
Weather and water
Weather conditions and strict health checks and deadlines determine whether the race can be followed into the mountains and those that finish are given a black finishers top and take on the name "Norsemen". Those that do not make the cut-off time but complete the distance on a lower alternative route are given a white finishers top.
The water temperature in Eidfjord is a challenge to the organizers. In 2015 the water temperature was measured to 10 degrees celsius. The safety team then decided to make the swim 1900 meters instead of 3800 meters. After the race, the safety crew decided to start a "Cold Water Research Project", which will continue for several years including one or more PhD degrees in progress. The study is conducted by Jonny Hisdal and Jørgen Melau. Other than cold water studies, the group also has started studies on biomarkers, lung functions and heart function.
The number of participants is limited to a certain number of competitors. Approximately 40% of the participants are from outside Norway; and about 15% are female. During the period 2003-2005, a total of 175 women (10.6%) and 1,852 men (89.4%) successfully finished the race.
Norseman triathlon first took place in 2003 with 21 individuals at the starting line. The race record (full swimming distance) is 09:52:10 by Lars Christian Vold (Norway) in 2017 for men and 12:04:18 by Anne Nevin (Norway) in 2017 for women.
|2003||Men||Christian Houge-Thiis||Stavanger, Norway||12:48:28|
|2004||Men||Rune Høydahl||Sande i Vestfold, Norway||11:30:08|
|2004||Women||Trude Andersen||Stavanger, Norway||13:15:20|
|2005||Women||Trude Andersen||Stavanger, Norway||12:21:31|
|2006||Women||Marie Veslestaul||Høydalsmo I.L, Norway||14:46:25|
|2007||Men||Lars Petter Stormo||Team Oslo Sportslager, Norway||11:25:18|
|2007||Women||Emily Finanger||Inside Triathlon, Norway||13:01:00|
|2008||Women||Jenny Gowans||New Zealand||14:02:00|
|2013||Women||Inger Liv Bjerkreim Nilsen||Norway||12:43:14|
|2015||Men||Allan Hovda||Norway||09:43:37||half swimming distance|
|2015||Women||Kristin Lie||Norway||11:50:48||half swimming distance|
|2016||Men||Lars Petter Stormo||Norway||10:22:37|
|2016||Women||Kari Flottorp Lingsom||Norway||12:24:52|
|2017||Men||Lars Christian Vold||Norway||09:52:10||Record|
|2018||Women||Mette Pettersen Moe||Norway||11:16:10|
- Transition 1
- Transition 2
- "Course Map". Norseman Xtreme Triathlon.
- "Athlete Guide". Norseman Xtreme Triathlon.
- "Be prepared for a cold swim | Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon". nxtri.com. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
- Melau, Jørgen (1 November 2015). "Cold Water Swim Project". Medium.
- Melau, Jørgen (4 August 2016). "Changes in athletes' biomarkers and lung function after completing full distance triathlon competitions".
- Knechtle, Beat; Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theodoros; Stiefel, Michael; Rosemann, Thomas; Rüst, Christoph Alexander (2016-10-31). "Performance and sex differences in 'Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon'". The Chinese Journal of Physiology. 59 (5): 276–283. doi:10.4077/CJP.2016.BAE420. ISSN 0304-4920. PMID 27604138.