It's been 11 years since I have had the opportunity to cover Norsemen for the first time. In 2011 I had the chance to go with Tim Deboom and cover the race. We spent a large amount of time covering his lead up to the race and made a couple of videos that showcased what his training and prep was like. We flew from Denver straight into Oslo, picked up our rental car and stayed in Oslo for the night where we met Dag Oliver in person for the first time. It remains the greatest triathlon trip I have ever had.
Lots of things have changed in the last 11 years. Lots of things are still the same.
Last year, I wrote about what I thought was the most important growth opportunity in triathlon (The Micro Community) . Over the last 12 months I’ve thought a lot about what was in that article. How can we get this sport to grow? Who really are the influencers of the sport? Is it the pros? The social media influencers? Or is it really the local age group athletes?
Truth be told, I think it takes all of those groups.
At Slowtwitch.com we try our best to showcase all of these groups. We cover all the major races, we cover a lot of smaller events, and we cover professional triathletes. No one does a better job finding interesting age group stories than our very own Herbert Krabel, and we have a forum that is the largest source of open communication in the sport. Last year Dan gave me permission to test the concept of having a Slowtwitch Team. I say test because we aren't really sure what our are and what we want to do with the team.
I personally like a smaller team – small but mighty. The idea is that we can tap into longer lasting stories to share. We can do a better job at sharing more personal stories and by doing so allow these personal stories to inspire others to join our great sport. (We will introduce the team to you later this month.)
So rewind to the fall of 2021, the team and I were talking about their goals and what they wanted to accomplish in 2022. During that hour the iconic Norseman Triathlon was brought up by teammate Tim Hola. Like many people it really is a bucket list race. And, relying on my experience, I thought to myself, “I know a guy!” I also realized that:
#1 Each year tens of thousands of triathletes want to get into this iconic race and enter the lottery to do so. In the end only 250 people actually get to go. There are even fewer invitations extended beyond the lottery.
#2 If we were going to make it work, I would probably have to go with Hola and I would need another person to commit to it as well.
The call ended and we went on with our normal routines. A couple of days after I reached out to Tim to talk about just how serious he was. More importantly I was really wanting to know what year he was really able to go. Was it this year? The next? Or just a pipe dream for now?
I have known Tim since I got into this sport. He is always someone I have admired, and if you’re lucky enough to know him, you understand why. The list goes on and on and why people just like him. His response: “I’ll go any year, anytime I can get a slot.”
I quickly shot an email over to Dag Oliver and said we want to come back and we want to bring back another “Tim. Dag said, “Great!” and we were off to the races.
Here at Slowtwitch, we have covered Norsmen a lot. We love Norsman. We also love the whole XTRI World tour series. They embody everything that is important to us in the sport of triathlon. They are about personal achievement, community, and giving back. This year is no exception, but this year we are adding to our coverage by heading to Norseman in person and doing so from an age group perspective. We will be following Tim on his journey as well as the evolution of Norseman over the last 11 years.
We are excited to share this story. We will be including some writing and a lot of videos and photos. We look forward to hearing from the race directors and also chatting with other racers as to what brought them to the small town of Eidfjord. Stay tuned this week as its going to be an exciting and probably pretty rainy week in Eidfjord. And to kick off the series, here’s a little more about Tim Hola and why he is here to race.
Disclaimer: Norseman provided an invitation slot for the race; however, Race entry, all travel and race expenses are being paid for out of pocket.