The Rockman SwimRun is another unique and tough Norwegian event, inspired by Norseman and ÖTILLÖ, but clearly also different and inspiring. The event has a length of 41.4km with 10 swims totaling 5.9km and 10 runs adding up to 35.5km, but it is the very cold water and the super difficult terrain that gives the race the character. Including but not limited to that section with 4,440 steps and the amazing overlooks.
The 2016 event was won by the Swedish super SwimRun male team of Daniel Hansson and Lelle Moberg, but they were challenged all the way by the mixed team of Kristin Larsson and Sam Clark and in the end only managed to beat them by 4 minutes. Helen Gertig and Marie Meldrum won the women's category.
Athletes start their day with an early morning ferry ride to the start and a plunge into the Villains Cave fjord.
Massive rock walls line the swim course and early on the teams are still very much bunched up. But that quickly changes.
The experienced team of Jan and Matus Kriska on the way to 13th place.
The Rockman is watching as more teams are getting out of the cold water.
On a tough climb like this patience is required as the day is long, and it is not worth risking an accident to move up a spot or two.
There are some safety features in place, but it is best to be comfortable with heights and challenging terrain.
Trail running shoes with good traction are helpful here, and the athlete in the lead here apparently already had a tumble.
Watch out here or you might end up missing a shoe.
Most of the descending is not easy here.
Sometimes the best method to move forward is scrambling.
It does look a bit scary from above.
Making sure that the body stays hydrated, and these mountain springs are a welcome sight.
On the way to the next swim.
The longest swims at Rockman SwimRun are 1,600 and 1,700 meters, but some of them are as short as 90 and 120 meters.
Back on the trails.
Happy times on a rare paved section.
How about this delightful aid station food offering.
Kristin Larsson and Sam Clark on the way to win the mixed division and second place overall.
Daniel Hansson and Lelle Moberg grab the overall win at the 2016 Rockman SwimRun.