Oftedal, Buckenlei take Norseman

Henrik Oftedal battled defending champion Tom Remman most of the day to win the 2010 edition of the Norseman Extreme Triathlon. Defending champion Susanne Buckenlei also had quite a tough challenge on her way to the women's title.

The men

Jørgen Møllerop used his superb swim skills to drop all other athletes on the way back from the ferry with a time of 51:43, but it was not expected that he would be a challenger for the top spots in the race. Defending champion Tom Remman also had a great swim and was second out of the water 2.5 minutes after Møllerop, but he was almost 4 minutes up on the next competitors and that did not bode well for anyone trying to take the title from him.

Remman jumped on his bike after a fairly smooth transition and was on his way to get across the the Hardanger mountain plateau. Henrik Oftedal had aspirations for the title too, but started his ride about 18 minutes down on Remman. Oftedal would need an amazingly fast bike ride to get himself into position and he did exactly that. His 5:36:46 bike split proved to be the fastest of the day and when combined with his fast transitions allowed him to take back almost 11 minutes on Remman. But Even Hersleth was also still in the game having been passed by Oftedal late in the bike segment.

Oftedal and Remman soon were running together and it looked like neither person would relent. On the final climb of the day Oftedal managed to drop his Team Nakamura team mate and crossed the line on top of Gaustoppen first in 10:59:57. Remman reached the finish about 8 minutes later and Hersleth rounded out the podium.

"I ran really fast on the flat parts but struggled with my thighs and stomach. But I came back and by the time I neared the top I felt pretty good," said Oftedal. "I gunned it several times and it felt good when he could not hang on."

The women

The Norwegian males swept the podium and 9 out of the top ten 10 spots of this very tough and unique event, but the women's race was quite a bit more of an International affair.

Dutch Gonny Rosendaal had a great swim and managed to get out of the water in Eidfjord with the top men. Last year's champion Susanne Buckenlei didn't have a bad swim but she was still looking to make up 10 minutes on Rosendaal.

Known for her bike strength, the German set out in pursuit of the Dutch woman and managed to catch her target half way through the bike. Rosendaal though hung tough and it took a while before Buckenlei actually was able to get rid of her.

Buckenlei started her run with a 3 minute lead and held the gap for the first 25k of the run. On the run/hike up to Gaustoppen she added more time to her lead and repeated her title with a superb performance and 35th position overall. Rosendaal finished second and Malin Lundvik from Sweden with her third place made it a very International podium.

"I was so happy to win and to get that course record. I have never fought this hard for anything before," said Buckenlei.

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Norseman Extreme Triathlon 2010

Norseman Extreme Triathlon
Gaustablikk, Norway / August 7, 2010
3.8k swim / 180k bike / 42k run

Top 10 men

1. Henrik Oftedal (NOR) 10:59:57
2. Tom Remman (NOR) 11:08:15
3. Even Hersleth (NOR) 11:17:34
4. Pål Cato Elshaug (NOR) 11:40:37
5. Mikal Reinbotn (NOR) 11:49:14
6. David Ekroll (NOR) 11:55:12
7. Jonathan Smith (GBR) 11:59:59
8. Even Olsen (NOR) 12:08:55
9. Erik Guldhav (NOR) 12:11:56
10. Christian Wiig Bøen (NOR) 12:17:36

Top women

1. Susanne Buckenlei (GER) 13:13:03
2. Gonny Rosendaal (NED) 13:29:04
3. Malin Lundvik (SWE) 13:50:57
4. Vibeke Stærkebye Nørstebø (NOR) 14:00:07
5. Åslaug Golf Kardaal (NOR) 14:19:10
6. Ingvill Merete Stedøy-Johansen (NOR) 14:33:48
7. Hilde Hoff (NOR) 14:36:10
8. Ellen Robinson (GBR) 15:20:45
9. Linni Tiller (NOR) 15:35:52
10. Anne Signe Been (NOR) 15:40:23