Norwegians Allan Hovda and Line Foss pulled off a home country double for the first time in a decade at the 12th edition of the Norseman Extreme Triathlon. In fact, the Norwegian men dominated the contest with a 1-2-3-4-5 finish broken only by Scotsman Graeme Stewart, who finished 6th.
Hovda finished the Ironman-distance test which includes 5,000 meters of ascent in a time of 10:52:07 which gave him a 17 minutes 34 seconds margin of victory over runner-up Lars Christian Vold and 22:51 over 3rd-place finisher Per Morten Ellingsen.
The men’s race was anything but a procession as former Norseman winner Tom Remman was second out of the water and took the lead beginning the bike leg and held it through the Hardangervidda (Does this mean Hard-Danger-Life?) before he was overtaken by Graeme Stewart. The daring duo had not finished their work as Hovda, Lars-Petter Stormo and Lars Christian Vold were hot on their heels.
Sure enough, Hovda won it on what it called a run but is more of a brutal mountain ascent-crawl in a race-best time of 3:56:11, followed by Vold (4:13:31), Ellingsen (4:05:05), Stormo (4:24:57) and Kjell Magnus Antonsen (4:19:50). Stewart fell back from 1st to 6th with a 4:45:09 split, and Remman dropped back to 16th with a survival slog 5:28:43 uphill marathon.
Typical headwinds, rain, hail and thick fog bathed the brutally tough course in a mantle of doom welcomed by the courageous 260 athletes – 247 of whom managed to finish the final scramble up Zombie Hill to the finish.
Foss earned an even larger margin of victory over the women’s runner-up. Foss finished in 12:56:27 with a 42 minutes 46 seconds advantage over Maggie Rusch of the United States and 49 minutes and 17 seconds over 3rd place finisher Trude Gran of Norway.
Foss’ race was also not a victory parade. Charlotte Knudsen held the lead for a long time but an old injury resurfaced and she was unable to complete the race.
Foss said after finishing: "Finally after several tries, this was the day when everything worked out."
August 3, 2014
S 3.8k / B 180k / R 42.2 k
1. Allan Hovda (NOR) 10:52:07
2. Lars Christian Vold (NOR) 11:09:41
3. Per Morten Ellingsen (NOR) 11:14:58
4. Lars Petter Stormo (NOR) 11:21:08
5. Kjell Magnus Antonsen (NOR) 11:39:34
1. Line Foss (NOR) 12:56:27
2. Maggie Rusch (USA) 13:39:13
3. Trude Gran (NOR) 13:45:34
4. Melanie Wasley (GBR) 13:47:19
5. Marit Vala (NOR) 13:50:15