2010 Norseman champion Henrik Oftedal won the 2012 Norseman Extreme Triathlon in a time of 10:23:42 and thus broke Bjorn Andersson's course record from 2005. Annett Finger smashed the women's course record in a fantastic time of 12:17:04, but that record was only set 24 hours ago by fellow German Julia Nikolopoulos during the Saturday edition* of Norseman.
This 10-year anniversary event brought 2005 champion and course record holder Bjorn Andersson back to Norway and the fast Swede was first out of the cold waters of the Hardangerfjord, 48:20 after jumping of the Melderskin ferry. Kevin Thornton, Tom Remman and Lennart Moberg were next just under 50 minutes.
Andersson looked good on the bike but other were gaining time on him and especially Henrik Oftedal was posting some good splits. Just as the athletes were heading to the last big climb on the bike Andersson pulled out, apparently not still recovered from the illness he had been dealing with in 2011. Remman took crossed the Imingfjell climb first with Oftedal a bit more than a minute behind, Kristian Horne riding in third, Lrs Peter Stormo next and retired mountain bike Pro Rune Høyydahl rounding out the top five. Remman reached T2 first with a 5:31:12 bike split, but Oftedal's race best 5:15:21 allowed him to start the run right on the heels of Remman. Other impressive bike splits on this very tough course came from Rune Høydahl with a 5:24:09 and Lars Petter Stormo with a 5:26:56.
Oftedal distanced all other challengers during the run and appeared that his tough winter training paid off. Oftedal looked very good indeed and reached the finish in course record time of 10:23:43. Stormo crossed the line in second place and Remman finished third.
Annett Finger took charge in the women's race and reached the first transition in 59:29, about 2 minutes ahead of Lisbeth Olsen Kenyon and 8 minutes in front of Charlotte Knudsen.
On the tough bike course Cesilie Skollerud Hegna made up the 9 minutes she had lost during the swim segment and took over the lead from Finger with Kenyon hovering in third position. But Finger rode very hard on the section from Geilo to Imingfjell and managed to be in the front of the race again heading towards the bike-run transition.
Skollerud Hegna though had a swift transition and started the run first, but that did not last very long and Finger soon took over the lead again and she was running well under the course record time. Kenyon meanwhile was steadily running in third position but behind her Charlotte Knudsen was moving even faster. Both Knudsen and Kenyon caught Skollerud Hegna, but Finger was out of reach for them. The German actually smashed the course record time in 12:17:04, and as a bonus after crossing the finish line on top of the Gaustatoppen got a wedding proposal from her boyfriend Anders - to which she said "Yes."
Knudsen and Kenyon finished second and third, with Skollerud Hegna holding on to fourth place. These three athletes also stayed under the record time which had been set the day before.
*This 10th anniversary edition featured a race on Saturday and another one on Sunday, with most of the fast elites starting on Sunday.
2012 Norseman Extreme Triathlon
2.4m swim / 112m bike / 26.2m run
1. Henrik Oftedal (NOR) 10:23:43 **
2. Lars Petter Stormo (NOR) 10:42:45
3. Tom Remman (NOR) 10.53:52
4. Øyvind Lillehagen (NOR) 10:59:57
5. Lennart Moberg (SWE) 11:09:40
6. Knut Ole Thoreplass (NOR) 11:13:54
7. Rune Høydahl (NOR) 11:15:27
8. Marcus Hultgren (SWE) 11:23:26
9. Kristian Horne (NOR) 11:24:23
10. Gjermund Nordskar (NOR) 11:26:32
1. Annett Finger (GER) 12:17:04 **
2. Charlotte Knudsen (NOR) 12:29:20
3. Lisbeth Olsen Kenyon (USA) 12:46:42
4. Cesilie Skollerud Hegna (NOR) 12:59:52
5. Vibeke Stærkebye Nørstebø (NOR) 13:08:49
** Norseman course record
The Norseman Saturday edition
Arnaud Epp of France led the men’s race from start to finish and Julia Nikolopoulos of Germany broke the women’s course record and held on for a narrow victory over Ingrid Lorvik at the Saturday edition of the Norseman Extreme Triathlon.
Norseman Extreme Triathlon - August 4
1. Arnaud Epp (FRA) 11:37:05
2. Per Øyvind Alvim (NOR) 11:51:10
3. Øyvind Slørdahl (NOR) 12:00:59
1. Julia Nikolopoulos (GER) 13:00:40
2. Ingrid Lorvik (NOR) 13:02:35
3. Sue Smith (GBR) 13:43:50
2012 Norseman Extreme Triathlon gallery