The breathtaking 2017 Rockman Swimrun

The 2017 Rockman Swimrun in Norway took place over the weekend and this ÖtillÖ merit race is very distinctive and challenging with very technical terrain, tons of climbing, cold swims and breathtaking scenery. Rumor has it though that Rockman Swimrun will expand into a series and that North America may see one or more of these events too.

According to race director Thor Hesselberg the race attracted 77 teams but only 26 teams managed to avoid the cut-off and were able to pass the Dragon's Neck. The total race distance is 42km with 36km of running and 6km swimming. The swims comprise of 3 large fjord swims in 11-13 degree Celsius water and high mountain swims in even colder conditions. For the 36km of running athletes have to overcome 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) of elevation gain and close to 90% of the trails are very technical and challenging. There is also a 4444 step long wooden staircase that goes up 750 meters in elevation gain in a 1,500 meter stretch.

The 2017 race was won by the mixed team of Staffan Björklund and Marika Wagner (Apollo Sports) from Sweden. This is apparently now the second time already that a mixed team grabbed the overall title of a major Swimrun race.

But now please enjoy the following pictures.

There aren't many races where you get views like this. The actual start to the Rockman Swimrun is way down there.

Ready to jump from the boat into the fjord to get

Swimming through a very cold fjord. Neoprene swim caps are certainly welcome here.

Out of the water with the help of guide ropes and onward to some challenging "running."

From here it is up, up, and up.

Trail running shoes with good grip are very helpful here.

Depending on the confidence level some of these sections can prove to be very time consuming

Tethered and ready for the next swim, but it is better to keep the eyes on the path ahead. Annelie Ståhl and Paula Kirkegaard on the way to 4th place in the female division.

The reward after a very long and technical climb to the top of Preikestolen is a stunning view.

Unless of course the clouds roll in.

But what goes up must eventually come back down.

Usually folks who race in Swimrun events prefer not to run on asphalt. But in this scenario it may be well appreciated, considering how tough the rest of the course is. .

Crossing a body of water without getting the shoes wet.

In the water we go. This team shows how it is done fast and efficient.

No matter how cold the water is, it is best to not think about it. Just swim, swim and swim.

But it is greatly appreciated when land is reached again. Rasmus Persson and Karl- Fredrik Andersson on the way to 6th place in the male division.

When you start climbing the 4,444 steps the end is near, but still so far away.

Some folks actually insist that there are more than 4,444 steps, but one thing is sure, it is tough and requires full concentration.

The overall winning team Apollo Sports of Staffan Björklund and Marika Wagner.

All images with the Rockman watermark are © Pierre Mangez / Rockman Swimrun, all others © Diego Escobedo Heart / Rockman Swimrun