Tim DeBoom won the 2011 Norseman Extreme Triathlon in 11:18:47 and with a relatively comfortable margin over Markus Stierli. Susanne Buckenlei grabbed her 3rd title in a course record time of 13:10:44 despite the distance being 20k longer.
After a huge cruise ship churned up the waters of the Hardangerfjord the water temperatures dropped dramatically and the race organizers decided to move the swim to slightly warmer waters. That made sure that the 2011 Norseman wouldn't turn into a duathlon, but the location change added 20k to the bike leg and that now meant that participants had to deal with 200k of Norwegian roads.
After jumping in the water from the Melderskin ferry at 5am, about 250 athletes from around the world set out on their epic journey. Many eyes were on 2-time Ironman Hawaii Champion Timothy DeBoom, but the Colorado native had quite a few local athletes gunning to take him down. After the 3.8k swim in pretty cold waters DeBoom started the bike segment in second place behind 2009 champion Tom Remman from Norway. Markus Stierli from Switzerland was next to reach the transition area, but had already lost 10 minutes to the leader.
DeBoom had opted to bring his Felt road bike with a shallow front and deeper back wheel combo plus clip on aero bars to the event and it didn't take him very long to move past the Norwegian. After a couple mountain passes DeBoom's lead had grown to as much as 3.5 minutes, but on the long descent back to transition Remman managed to take some time back and started the run only a minute after DeBoom. DeBoom's 5:58:24 bike split was quite impressive for this 200k course and all bike splits mentioned include the bike to run transition. Remman's 6:00:59 was next best, but David Ekroll, another Norwegian riding a bit further back, had cranked out a race best 5:57:45. Stierli had lost a few more minutes during the bike, but maintained his position to start the run in third place.
Out on the run though DeBoom looked very comfortable and onlookers described him as having "stuff left in the tank for a possible late charge." Stierli managed to get past Remman, who most likely gave a bit too much during the bike, and for a while it seemed as if Stierli might be able to gain time on DeBoom too. But DeBoom was in control up front and stormed to the win in 11:18:52. Stierli finished second in 11:41:10 and Remman rounded out the podium in 11:47:57.
The course record for Norseman was set by Bjorn Andersson in 2005, when he recorded a 10:30 despite nasty snowy conditions on the final climb and after having ridden 10k more than the normal bike course. But in today's race Tim De Boom had actually still had a 10k longer bike course.
In the women's race Susanne Buckenlei showed again that she is the woman to beat here and grabbed her third win in course record time of 13:10:44. Quite an amazing feat when considering that the bike segment was 20k longer than in previous editions.
Malin Lundvik from Sweden started the bike 12.5 minutes ahead of the defending champion from Germany, but Buckenlei's 6:58:51 bike split bested Lundvik by just about 30 minutes. Verena Walter took about 2 minutes longer to get on the bike than Buckenlei and then managed a 7:09:27 bike split to keep her in contention for the run.
Buckenlei really though showed no weakness and ran a very solid 4:50:31 marathon on this very tough course to take the win and break her own course record. Lundvik finished second in 13:34:22 and Cesilie Skollerud Hegna grabbed the final podium spot in 14:08:07. Another impressive performance came from 4th place finisher Line Margareta Foss who closed out her day with a 4:33:27 marathon, a time beaten only by very select men.
Norseman Extreme Triathlon
Eidfjord, Norway / August 6, 2011
3.8k swim / 200k bike* / 42.2k run
1. Tim DeBoom (USA) 11:18:52
2. Markus Stierli (SUI) 11:41:10
3. Tom Remman (NOR) 11:47:54
4. Ulrik Schaarup (DEN) 11:59:59
5. Lars Eftang (NOR) 12:10:05
6. Knut Anders Fostervold (NOR) 12:11:12
7. Sebastian Hauer (GER) 12:18:24
8. Jochen Müller (GER) 12:18:25
9. Christian Bĝhmer (NOR) 12:26:44
10. Eduard Barcelo (AND) 12:37:34
1. Susanne Buckenlei (GER) 13:10:44
2. Malin Lundvik (SWE) 13:34:22
3. Cesilie Skollerud Hegna (NOR) 14:08:07
4. Line Margareta Foss (NOR) 14:16:37
5. Carolin Holmqvist (SWE) 14:20:13
6. Hilde Hoff (NOR) 14:24:42
7. Verena Walter (GER) 14:37:57
8. Marit Wefling Storeng (NOR) 14:51:28
9. Ingrid Lorvik (NOR) 15:03:06
10. Marietta Herrmann (GER) 15:24:26
* 20k were added to the bike this year as the swim start venue had to be moved because of very cold water temps