Battling nature and fatigue in Norway

This 2019 Åsnes Expedition Amundsen is a very tough 100km skiing race over the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and about 200 folks from 9 different nations were at the start. Temps were between -8 to -14 Celsius on this 10th anniversary day and heavy snowfall add another challenging aspect to this race. Athletes were able to race as individuals or as a team of two or three, and with the tough conditions proper equipment was very important.

Tarald Kleppa Øvrebø in the end finished in 15th place after 34:35:17 alone with Mother Nature and heavy snow.

The Åsnes Expedition Amundsen gets started each year with a blast from a gun.

Canadian Laurent Belanger early on in the race and he raced as an individual. He finished 36th in 53:18:51

It is unclear why this athlete felt overly warm here, but he was likely alone going bare chested in this race, and this likely did not last too long.

Deep snow tested the determination of all the athletes, but everyone seemed to take it in strides.

When the sun came out everyone felt good, and that was not only true for the athletes.

According to the race manual all participants have to record at least 8 hours of rest at the three checkpoints along the course, but 4 of these 8 hours have to be taken at Viersla, the 3rd checkpoint.

If it were easy everyone would be doing it. But that is certainly not the case here.

An athlete approaches the final checkpoint.

Ida Jahren Herud together with Anne Jahren were the fastest female team on the course and 8th overall among all teams in 33:59:11.

Anders Ribbing-Siemensen and Hans Olav Kristiansen - Team Brynje of Norway finished 10th in the male team division in 34:05:40

The front group apparently took turns making tracks in the 50cm deep new snow.

AK Glück Teigland was wearing bib number 1 and he ended up in fourth place after 28:39:01 close to nature.

Folks in triathlon who get angry about massive drafting packs maybe ought to consider this race.

When the sun goes down the race continues and athletes are now guided by headlamps.

Determined towards the finish of the amazing 100km Åsnes Expedition Amundsen.

The fastest time overall was by Team Åsnes-RAB, Øyvind Lillehagen and Halvor Wang with a time of 28:01:35. Gjermund Nordskar was the fastest individual male in 28:12:02 and Bjorg-Marit Valland fastest among individual females in 30:01:31.

Images 1-14 are courtesy of Norwegian ace shooter Kai-Otto Melau. Images 15-16 are by Xavier Koenig who is from Mauritius.