This year the Norseman athletes, crews, organizers and volunteers had superb weather and the racing in both events was superb. Two events because this was also the first time that a XTRI World Championship was held and this event was run at the same time as the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, but folks wanting to compete in the World Championships had to qualify for it in one of the other XTRI events held around the world. Among them Swissman in Switzerland, Celtman in Scotland and Patagonman in Chile. But the biggest number of athletes were in the Norseman Xtreme Tri and while some of them were hunting for podium spots, most all of them were looking to grab the coveted black t-shirt.
Athletes quickly spread out after the deep fjord start and then they target the lights of Eidfjord far in the distance. This is where they jump on their bikes to ride 180km.
Earlier in the day athletes had to jump from the ferry to get to the start. And it is quite a sight and a heart pumping experience. Before jumping into the cold water many athletes opt to be sprayed with cold water on the deck of the ferry - to avoid a cold surprise.
It is still pretty dark when the athletes reach the shore after 3.8km of swimming in the Hardangerfjord.
One of the early challenges is the Hardangervidda, a mountain plateau in central southern Norway. Fog was still hanging over it and all athletes are required to wear reflective vests and lights during this segment of the bike course.
Every athlete in the race has a support crew, and they help with feeding and emotional support. Here Canadian Jérôme Bresson gets some liquid on the way to 12th place in the XTRI World Championships.
Swede Johan Hasselmark hard on the throttle, being chased by another athlete.
A quick stop for Brit Emma Whyte with her support crew on the side of the road. Whyte finished the race in 12:37:02 and that meant 4th place.
The conditions on the course were described as close to perfect and thus the views were also magnificent.
Norwegian Erik Ryttervoll Kvamshagen on the way to 21st place and a black t-shirt in the 2019 Norseman Xtreme Tri, with a time of 12:29:36.
Every year athletes in the race have to decide what kind of bike to bring to this course. Norwegian Andreas Martinussen opted for a road bike and managed a 6:32:40 bike split and a 12:22:15 total time for 14th place and a black t-shirt.
Norwegian Allan Hovda was one of the favorites for the XTRI World Championship title and he charged into the lead and looked good. Here cooled down by one of his support crew members during the run.
But Hans Christian Tungesvik caught Hovda high up on Mt.
Gaustatoppen, about 300 meters from the finish and charged to the win in 9:59:40. Hovda crossed the line 72 seconds later in 2nd place in 10:00:52
With full focus Norwegian André Johnsen Navjord is close to the top and a 9th place finish in 10:46:30. In the background some support crew members from another athlete are already on their way back down. Athletes get to take the elevator but crews have to hike down.
Higher up on the mountain hands often are seen supporting the legs as the pitch gets steeper and legs are tiring.
Brit Lucy Gossage grabbed the female XTRI World Championship title in 11:27:12 and she seemed super thrilled with the experience.
Fellow Brit Flora Colledge finished second in 11:56:53 and she had bib number 1 in the race.