With warmer summer weather in Norway the water temps in the lakes at the 2018 Rockman SwimRun were relatively mild, but rain and fog made conditions tough for all starters. They however had come from across the globe to Norway to experience this unique event and a memorable experience was delivered.
You are either all in, or you are better off hunting for PRs in a different sport. SwimRun events can be very challenging indeed, but they also are very rewarding. That being said, not all SwimRun races are created equal. Rockman however is tough and on the bucket list of many seasoned athletes who are looking for new adventures.
Just as in the unique Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, athletes who want to experience Rockman are taken to the start of the race on a boat and then launch into the water.
Athletes then swim to a cove and that is where the race starts.
Who would not want to swim in this beautiful part of nature? It could be warmer, but maybe that would take away from this challenge.
Climbing prowess comes in handy in various sections at Rockman, and folks afraid of heights might also want to consider other events.
Americans Paul Geist and Amy Carver are surely all in here and they ended up in 4th place in the mixed division.
With full focus on the trail ahead Kevin Meisel and Sandy MacLean (Slow and Steady) lead Anton Mattson and Andreas Wallin (Syltryggarna) down this tricky descent.
The mixed team of Simon Börjeson and Marika Wagner took charge of the race right away and won the 2018 Rockman Swimrun in 7:20:55 with a 34 minute advantage over the first male team.
Not all descents were tricky, but full attention was still required.
A last glance at the partner to make sure all systems are a go and then swim, swim and swim.
Fog rolled in later but Martin Belak and Thomas Unssgard were undeterred. The finished 10th in the male division.
The women's race was very tight but in the end Jenny Rice and Catherine Slater prevailed in a time of 9:04:51. Vilde Tengesdal and Karen Magnussen were second in 9:12:53, and Mona Nilsson and Jenny Ramkrans were third in 9:19:01.
Martin Nilsson and Gustaf Träff are performing a bit of a balancing act on the way to their next swim. They finished in 9:20:35 and that was 18th place in the male division.
A good partner also comes in handy when a rear zipped wetsuit requires a bit of attention. Roka is however rumored to be working on a SwimRun specific suit.
Erik Vik and Wenche Kvæven finished second in the mixed division and 8th overall with a time of 8:35:52.
This very memorable section features 4,444 steps - or possibly a few more. And it comes late in the race.
A big smile, but there is still a long way to go.
Americans Dan Kimball and Marcus Barton finished second in the male division
The overall winning mixed team of Simon Björeson and Marika Wagner put on an impressive show at Rockman.
Paddles are not required, and some teams indeed opt to race with out them. This team however had paddles of the carbon variety.
Al images courtesy Rockman SwimRun