The world's most stunning half IRONMAN races

After completing my half Ironman in September, I noticed Red Bull sponsored the event and then wrote them this article! You can read the article on Red Bull or below.

Want to dip your toe into the world of IRONMAN with a 70.3 race, but unsure where to start? Try one of these incredible events.

With a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run, the IRONMAN 70.3 is surging in popularity right now.

Unlike its big brother, the 140.6, it's less all-consuming and more achievable. Pick the right one and you may even have the chance to race in some sensational settings around the world – so whether you want to bust your guts in Germany, soak up the incredible community feel in South Africa, or take in the unbelievable sights in New Zealand, here's a list of the best 70.3 races around.

Just remember your passport...

1. IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney

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Voted by thousands of athletes as the world’s number one IRONMAN 70.3, this race is not to be missed. Take in all Sydney has to offer and more: swim in the iconic Penrith Lakes, cycle and run past winding rivers, and drink in the stunning views across the Blue Mountains – all while feeling your calves turn to jelly. What more could you want in a race? Hugh Jackman? He's probably there, too.

For more information, click here

2. IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa, Buffalo City

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Want to combine your IRONMAN 70.3 with a spectacular adventure? This race offers a full-on Eastern Cape tourist experience and also some world class race infrastructure: fully closed national highway, enthusiastic spectator support, miles of stunning beach front, rich cultural history, calm warm ocean swim, tough cycle and a view of a flat ocean on the final run.

For more information, click here

3. IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

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The rural charm and friendly community of Coeur d’Alene have been attracting triathletes for years. Held in early summer, and a key fixture on the circuit, the race takes you through one of Idaho’s most pristine areas as you whizz by a glacier-fed lake and thriving forest. But make no mistake, the tranquillity doesn't extend to the racetrack, which is often packed with the steeliest of racegoers intent on smashing some personal bests.

For more information, click here

[Read about Andreas Mikkelsen's insane journey from rally driver to top triathlete: When three-time rallying world champ Andreas Mikkelsen decided to race his first elite triathlon, he picked the toughest one on earth. Reliving the pain, he breaks down his epic Norseman challenge.]

4. IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo, New Zealand

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How can you go wrong with an IRONMAN 70.3 set amid the film set from the Lord of The Rings trilogy? Answer: you can't. A huge favourite with top triathletes, you'll swim in a breathtaking freshwater lake, cycle through New Zealand’s splendid rural landscape and finish with an equally magnificent run around Hobbit country. Short of a hill climb up Mordor, it's a brutal day's racing.

For more information, click here

5. IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga, Tennessee

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If swimming isn’t your strongest discipline, you’ll love this race. A fast course with dramatic scenery, perfect weather and a downstream swim in the Tennessee River, the cycle and the run give you an ideal opportunity to enjoy Chattanooga’s best tourist sites, including dazzling views of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee Riverwalk and Riverfront Parkway. No wonder it hosted the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2017.

For more information, click here

[This year I chose the UK's hardest half ironman distance race: The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon. It was one hell of a run up and down Ben Nevis! Read my race report here.]

6. IRONMAN 70.3 Maceió, Alagoas Brazil

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There’s a reason Maceió is known as the 'Water Paradise. It's backdropped by a magnificent emerald sea and raved about by many a racer who's been brave enough to take it on. If you're keen to make a step up to IRONMAN, this is an absolutely brilliant place to start. The race kicks off with a one-lap swim at Pajuçara Beach. The two-loop bike course will treat athletes to an amazing landscape, including views of the Atlantic Ocean. The two-loop run across largely forgiving and flat terrain will take you along the water at Pajuçara Beach and onto a hell of a finish.

For more information, click here

7. IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau, South West Germany

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Nicknamed as ‘the land of the 1000 hills’, Kraichgau attracts thousands of triathletes from around the world each year. Aside from the leg-aching nature of the course, the race offers everything you could wish for, from spectacular scenery and a demanding race course to quaint towns packed full of entertainment. Lively crowds will push you on when you feel the burn.

For more information, click here

8. IRONMAN 70.3 Vichy, Auvergne, France

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This 70.3 is great for a first timer, because it’s a flat course across some exceptional rural French landscape, culminating with a crazy atmosphere at the finish line. Vichy, one of France’s most stunning cities, is also known as the ‘Queen of Spa Towns’ – and trust us, once you've finished you’ll be grateful for the spa access.

For more information, click here

9. IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada

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Dreaming of an Ironman 70.3 across enchanting landscapes? Look no further than this, a Canadian gem as easy on the eye as Justin Trudeau, but as hard on the limbs as an NHL bodycheck. You'll fall in love with Mont-Tremblant’s ancient mountains, sparkling lakes and chocolate box ski village, and then you'll fall apart and want to curl up in a ball and sleep by the final leg, which sees you climb into a ski village and race on cobbled roads to the finish.

For more information, click here

10. IRONMAN 70.3 Haugesund, Norway

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The magnificence of this race is a well kept IRONMAN secret. Unlike other races on the circuit, Haugesund attracts a smaller number of triathletes who, more often than not, are looking to have a terrific day out as much as getting their competitive juices flowing. Nestled within picturesque fjords, wild Viking landscapes and gorgeous mountains, Haugesund is a no-brainer.

For more information, click here








The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon Race Report

Last weekend I became a Braveheart! It was the race I’ve been working all year towards and accumulated in a 1.2 mile swim in a FREEZING loch, 56 miles on a hilly road through the Scottish highlands and a 15 mile run up and down Ben Nevis.

MY THOUGHTS BEFORE THE RACE

“I jumped into the loch yesterday for 10 minutes and it was a very long 10 minutes! A little bit of brain freeze was going on, but once my 3 swim hats (including a Neoprene hat) were properly placed it was much better!

They say not to try out new equipment on race day.. I am trying new equipment on race day. The neoprene booties and gloves are new and much needed, as the water temperature is around 13oC.

It’s now 7:34am and I’m chilling out in the car with my mum waiting for the race to start, as all of my stuff is racked in transition and I’m in my wetsuit ready to go!

I’m just going out to have a really good time and be the happiest person out there, training has been almost non-existent due to a health issue.

My plan is to go out there and have fun, enjoy my first ascent of Ben Nevis (never imagined I would be running up it!) and experience the Scottish Highlands!”

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MY THOUGHTS ON THE RACE

I finished in 8 hours 57 minutes, so a sub-9 hour race, which I am really happy with, especially considering I haven't’ been able to train properly in the lead up to Braveheart.

My amazing trainer, Mark Kleanthos, predicted I would complete the race between 8 and 9 hours, so I’m pleased with the result.

(Listen to Mark on my podcast talk about his incredible journey in triathlon and he drops some juicy knowledge bombs too that will help you perform at your next race!)

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The Swim

The loch did not feel any warmer since my dip the previous morning. There’s no beating about the bush, it was cold. Scrap that.

It. Was. FREEZING.

Once over the initial cold shock, we all lined up and waited for someone to shout ‘GO’. When he did, the water around me suddenly became a washing machine of 150 swimmers. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

I held my ground and felt good. Frustratingly, I became sandwiched between everyone as we all amalgamated around the two buoys at the 500m mark. This slowed me down, but once everyone had spread out it was much better and I kept to the outside.

I finished the swim in 45 minutes which was a little slower than expected, but still good.

The Bike

My transition was 10 minutes, which I was really happy with and once on the bike, this is where the pain began.

A few weeks before the race I decided to get a bike fit as I wasn’t happy with the setup. Turns out that my new saddle was amazingly comfortable for the first 30 minutes and after that complete agony!

In the weeks preceding I had been out on my bike, but for no more than 30 minutes due to health reasons, so this amount of discomfort came as a shock.

The bike is usually my strongest disciple, but this ride was one of the most demoralising. I was overtaken by what felt like hundreds of cyclists over the course, but I just couldn’t speed up.

The Run

I usually look forward to the run the least, but I couldn’t wait to get off the bike!

On the run I was on a tight deadline, I had to get half way up Ben Nevis by 3:30pm which gave me just over 2 hours.

When I started running, it was uncomfortable. My legs were sore and there were SO many steps. I just went as quick as I could. I was completely self-sufficient with water and food, so I didn’t need to stop. My entire focus was on reaching the halfway cut-off time, which I did successfully.

At the halfway mark, I had a renewed amount of energy and even over took some competitions! I made it to the summit of Ben Nevis (which was also freezing!) with 10 minutes to spare.

I came down the mountain at an easy pace, taking care not to slip.

Crossing the line

It was pure relief to cross the line and know that I could stop. I could relax. It was underwhelming as the race crew had pretty much packed up. My bike was one of a handful left, I finished near last, but I finished.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I’m chilling out for a little while. I’m starting a new job this week and have lots planned for my business, so that’s my focus for October.

However, I cannot wait to meet with my trainer, Mark Kleanthos, and start planning my 3 year journey to becoming a Norseman!

(Want some help with your nutrition and hydration system for racing and training? Listen to Mark on Season 2 of my podcast to discover how you can enhance your performance.)

The Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is the world’s ultimate triathlon. It’s an ironman-distance race stretched across the Norwegian landscape with 5000m and a finish line on top of a mountain. It was already at the back of mind, but since working at the race this summer, it’s now the race I’m gunning for.

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(Watch my video to get a taster of the amazing race that is Norseman. You'll soon see why I want to do it!)

How I Learnt From Ironman Barcelona Mistakes

Earlier this year, I reflected on my experience at Ironman Barcelona in October 2017 and wrote an article on the '10 Things I Would Do Differently For My Next Ironman'. This weekend is The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon. Let's see if I succeeded in doing things differently!

  What is The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon? It's apparently the ultimate bucket list adventure and includes 1.2 mile swim in a loch, 56 mile cycle through the highlands and a 13 mile run up and down Ben Nevis itself!

1. Know how to change my bicycle tyre before 2 weeks to go - YES!

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I have practised several times this year, even just before the Surrey Spring Triathlon!

I'm still not the most skilled bicycle-wheel changer (it takes me soo long!), so my fingers are crossed that I won't be needing to do this in the Scottish Highlands!

2. Know my sweat rate - YES!

Until triathlete coach Mark Kleanthouse, founder of IronMate Coaching and competitor of over 1,000 worldwide events - including some seriously insane events - started training me last year, I had no idea about sweat rate and how important it was.Listen to my episode with Mark on how to work out even more on how much you need to drink during race day and training.

Did you know that a 2% drop in body weight from fluid loss can result in a 10% decline in your performance?

And dehydration during long training sessions, especially rides, can weaken your immune system and cause you to become sick.

I now know approximately how much I need to drink per hour during training and racing, which has allowed me to optimise my performance and recovery rate.

I've been practising all year and feel I have this pretty nailed.

You also need to be aware of sodium loss through sweating. You must replace this sodium loss with electrolyte drinks and salty foods to prevent cramp.

During training and on race day, you don’t want to drink too much plain water as this can result in hyponatremia, which means you’ve diluted your the sodium levels in your body by too much.

I have been experimenting all year and my favourite way to replace sodium loss is using High5 Zero Electrolyte Sports Drink - Berry Flavour and OTE PH Neutral Energy Drink.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]

3. Calculate how many calories I need to consume every hour - YES!

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By calculating how many calories you burn in an hour you can calculate how many calories you need to replace, as Mark explains in his blog here.

We dive into on my podcast how to work out how much you need to eat during race day and training.

I prefer to get my calories from natural sources, but this is challenging when you’re going abroad for your race (and our kitchen has only just been renovated!)

During training, I either eat Nakd Crunch Bars or dried fruit like dates or apricots.

My race nutrition is still an area for improvement, but for the moment this is all I can stomach and it keeps my energy levels up!

Here’s an insight into Mark’s A-Z of Sport Nutrition and there’s so much on his site!

I also found Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive very helpful and Rich Roll’s Plantpower Way cookbook is my go-to for delicious recipes packed with nutrient-dense food.

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4. Order your kit months, not weeks, before your race - YES (AND NO)

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Ok. So this hasn't been quite executed to plan....

It was at the forefront of my mind for the entire season, but due to various reasons, I've only done this half as well as I should have done. Months in advance, I either bought or had the key pieces of kit, like a wetsuit, goggles, trainers etc. However, other pieces of kit were ordered last week, such as arm warmers, leg knee warmers and a neoprene swim hat. This wasn't the plan, but due to working at the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon and getting sick. It is what it is. Have I practised with all of my kit as much as I wanted to? No. A pesky urine infection got in the way of this, so it's going to be an adventure.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]

5. Practice taking snacks/drinks from people while cycling - YES!

Mark suggested this last year, so a week or so before the race, my dad and I practised on the road outside our house. I would cycle past him and take bottles and snacks from him!

This boosted my confidence for Ironman Barcelona and as my cycling confidence has increased over the year, I'm feeling really good about this in the Braveheart race too.

6. Really understand what the morning of the Ironman entails - YES AND NO!

I knew roughly what to expect for Ironman Barcelona...

I had racked my bike the evening before and walked through the swim to the transition area to my bike and then from my bike to transition area.

This meant that when it came to race day, I knew the quickest path to my bike and didn't become confused as to where I was going.

I wasn't 100% sure what else the morning entailed, apart from checking my bike, adding final touches such as my Garmin, changing into my wetsuit, dumping my street bag etc.

We were going to do everything as a group, but when we got there we all dispersed to do final checks and handle race nerves in different ways.

I was feeling slightly nervous at this point because it was passed the agreed time, no one was here, I didn’t know what to do and race time was approaching!

Luckily one of the guys was very tall and I spotted him in the crowd, so we put our wetsuits on together and headed to the water to warm up - I don’t think he realised how much this meant to me!

Again, I wasn't 100% sure what I should do for a warm up so relied on the others.

For the Braveheart Triathlon, again, I know roughly what to do, but until I have received my race info from Braveheart and listened to the briefing I won't be 100%. Come race day, I will be.

7. Woman with a plan - NO!

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For Ironman Barcelona, I fastidiously worked out my pace for each leg based on my estimated pace and also the minimum pace I would have to do as to not miss the cut off times. So if the worst happened, I knew what I would have to do to become an Ironman!

I laminated and taped this to my handle bars, as this is the leg I was most concerned about regarding making cut off times and I places a copy in each transition bag and my run food pouch.

This helped me to really relax about race day, as I could see that my training had really paid off and that if all went to plan, I could walk the marathon and still finish!

I can't believe I did the above! It sounds so anal! But it gave me the confidence I needed to have fun in the race and finish! I'm not racing Braveheart like that for 2 reasons:

  1. I'm much fitter than I was and am fully confident that I will finish each leg well within the cut off times

  2. As I've briefly mentioned, I have been sick with a urinary tract infection for the last month and so I will not be racing Braveheart. It's a training race for next year's Ironman and so I'm just going to relax, take in the views and have fun. It's going to be an adventure!

8. Quicker Run Time - YES AND NO!

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From Barcelona: The run was my weakest element of the Ironman, so this time around I'm working on improving my core strength, endurance and speed, so my pace quickens.

For Braveheart: I've been working on this ALOT with Mark, sadly an injury to the foot (I chipped one of the Sesamoids - like knee caps in your feet - during the Surrey Sprint Tri in July) meant I was off running for 6 weeks and then I caught the urinary tract infection. So run training has been stalled for a while. However, I'm definitely quicker and fitter than last year, but will my run time be faster than last years? I doubt it. Last year I only had to run a marathon on a flat road surface. This weekend it's up and down Ben Nevis!

9. Practice transitions - YES!

So last year I didn't really practice this and in Transition 2 (when you change from cycle to run gear) I took TWENTY MINUTES!!!!!

This year I'm doing it properly, especially as I have so much more kit due to the conditions. I'll be testing it before I go up to Scottland in the hotel.

10. Kit list for each bag and packing list - YES!

For Barcelona, I had an excel sheet with individual columns for general packing, street bag, swim, run bag and bike bag.

As I packed my suitcase for going to Barcelona, I put a tick next to each item and as I packed my kit bags the day before the race, I put a tick next to each item and took a photo of the kit I would place in each bag.

This put my mind at ease, as I knew I had packed everything I needed and that I was 100% ready to race and become an Ironman!

I said I would do it again and I have!

Well, overall I'm happy with my success! I learnt from my mistakes and haven't made the same mistakes (on the whole) which is great! Now all I have to do is the race!

Follow me on Instagram (@adelaidegoodeve) for live updates! 

Behind The Scenes: Taking Over 2018 Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon's Instagram Stories

After running down Dag Oliver, Managing Director of the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon a.k.a. the world's toughest triathlon, at The London Triathlon Show in February, I was given the very enjoyable task of taking over Norseman's Instagram Stories (@nxtri) over the 4-day race period. Want to know what it takes to compete in the world's ultimate triathlon and become a Norseman? Then read below and watch the video.


This year the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon turned 16 and saw 238 of the world’s most daring triathletes, representing 35 countries swim 3.8km, cycle 180km, run 42.2km and ascend more than 5235m in Norway’s exquisite landscape.

To be clear… that’s a swim in cold-is fjord waters, a bike through mountains and a marathon run up another mountain to the finish. Did I mention this starts at 5am by the athletes jumping off a ferry?

“You have lakes, mountains, rainbows, rain, sunshine, warm and cold temperatures. You have stunning transitions, a unique start by jumping off the car ferry into usually freezing fjord waters and then you finish on top of a mountain, I mean, can you really get any better? Can you ask any more from a race? True, Basic and Unique: This race course truly does encapsulate the Norseman brand, the Norseman experience and the Norseman journey.”

Adelaide Goodeve

High Performance Coach and Brand Strategist (owner of this site!)

Photo credit: José Luis Hourcade

Photo credit: José Luis Hourcade

Wow! What an amazing day! It’s over. I’m feeling exhausted but also charged and wide awake. As I was putting the press release together on Saturday evening, my brain was in over drive and my body exhausted - and I hadn’t even raced!

This is what my amazing day was like, I didn’t race, but working with Norseman was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I’m already looking forward to next year!

[Read how I felt the night before race day here: It Was The Night Before the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon]

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

3:25am: I was out with the athletes and their support crew. As the athletes racked their bikes and ensured they had everything ready for their first transition, the atmosphere was filled with tension, anxiety, pre-race nerves, joy and anticipation. You could hear the rustling of the athletes’ equipment and the hushed murmurs as athletes and crew members talked to each other. The final preparations were coming to an end.

4am: We were on the ferry. Most of the athletes made a beeline for the inside viewing area to chill out, talk with friends, take on final nutrition and hydration, get suited up and drop their bags off. Others remained on the ferry floor. Some sat with their backs against the floor or perched against the barrels, their faces etched with tension.

4.15am: Supporters cheered as the ferry departed. Eidfjord’s lights grew smaller as the ferry made waves across the black silk-like water. The air and water was unusually warm, so no one opted for the cold water showers.

4:45am: The ferry blew its horn signaling it was time. This was it. The infamous 4m plunge into the fjords usually icy waters. Some athletes backflipped, others held their nose and goggles and went for a pencil jump and a few needed a lot of encouragement to make that jump.

[Not sure how the triathletes even made it this far? Previous Norseman athletes reveal their pro tips: Norseman Pro Trips From Some Of The World's Toughest Triathletes

Photo credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

Photo credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

5am: Another horn signalled it was time for the athletes to swim the 3.8km back to shore. They looked like small fish making splashes along the water’s surface. Two elite males, Eirik Ravnan and Harry Wiltshire made a break and held their lead, leaving the pack behind.

5:50am: Ravnan and Wiltshire were out of the water within 48 mins, soon followed by Allan Hovda, Lars Chrsitan Vold and Mette Petterson. The swim set the exciting tone for the race, who was going to be crowned King and Queen of Norseman?

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Norseman, I had a blast..... my secret crush, my one big summer flirt. Thank you for treating me as good as you did. What more could I ask for. What truly happend will forever be between you and me (and the people who ask). I love you, and forever will. Memories to the grave. Tor, Martine & Magnus. The best part came last❤ Love you dearly. #Ad Thank you @huubnordic for dressing me in the supersexy fast #acara. I think it set the right mood for the date. Thank you @birksport for giving me the best ride to my date on a super fast (record bike split) #transonic Thank you @sponsernordics for keeping my blood sugar levels high enough, so I could get my ass to the very top og #gaustadtoppen Thank you @adrena.no @fusionnorge and @get_vital for supporting my feet, bum, and body, so I could stay In shape the whole year. Thank you Christopher @cardio_coach for help and support in my training regime. Your knowledge ment the world to me. Thank you Bemer International for helping.my body recover during a tough training period. #bemertherapy. Thank you @teamarctictriathlon and the girls for beeing rockstars, buddies and patient with a humble #nordlending from #fauske @limalang you are rock solid. @heinihartikainen you are a #pitbull. One day these girls will bite me in the ass. Last but not least. My support team. YOU MADE MY DAY(TE). @adrena_henning @age.saxlund @mette.kojan Frode, and @avollsta . This day wouldn't have happend without you. Love you all.... #norseman2018 #womenwhotri #triathlon #ultra #3atlet #swimbikerun #nxtri #womenintri #teamarctictriathlon #lovewhatyoudo #Norway #norwegiansummer #oslosportslager #ragdeeiendom #wikborgrein Foto: per eivind Syvertsen. Foto: Ola Morken Foto: Sylvain CAVATZ Foto: Mette Kojan

A post shared by Mettemora Pettersen (@mette_pettersen) on

6.20am: Erik Jungeling, Media Director of Norseman, and I quickly drove out of Eidjford, keen to get ahead of the traffic and catch up with the leaders. The sun was out, the temperatures still warm and the excitement building. Who was in the lead? Would they hold their position? And how long for? We passed cyclist after cyclist, each embodying a look of dogged determination and absolute focus.

7am: The support crew, made up of one to two individuals, were only allowed to stop at certain places along the bike route. We caught up with a few of the crew to find out how their athlete was doing and what they would be giving their athlete.

“Best of luck Louise, you’re flying out of the water well under 1 hour 15 as we predicted and you’re on the bike now going strong!”

Louisa’s (no.45) coach Ivan, from Ireland

“Richard is going to have 3 Science In Sport gels and some energy drinks so he can complete his way up to the mountain!”

One half of Richard’s crew

7.30am: We stopped at Dyranut, the entrance to the Hardangvidda Plateau, where there was a much welcomed tailwind for the athletes, something I’m sure that appeared in their dreams, but is unheard of in Norseman. Usually athletes are having to battle a headwind!

While the athletes made friends with the elements, we found some of their support crews taking refuge in the cosy cafe and tucking into breakfast!

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

8:30am: When you wake up at 2:55am, 8:30am breakfast becomes lunch according to Eirik! We stopped at Geilo, the foot of Kikut, one of the first big climbs from Eidfjord and here we saw the top 20 athletes cycle passed us in a blur.

We also caught up with the Huub support crew for Mette Petterson and Heini Hartikainen:

“Mette is in front of the female competition, Harry Wiltshire is third, Allan Hovda is in second and Heini is in second place”

Frode Berg

One half of the Huub athlete's support crew

Photo credit: José Luis Hourcade

Photo credit: José Luis Hourcade

9am: As we descended Kikut, which is a long smooth descent and where athletes can pick up speed in the aero position, we stayed behind an athlete going at 84km/h!! That’s seriously fast!!!

9:30am:  We finally caught up with the ongoing battle between Allan Hovda and Lars Christian Vold, Allan was in front and Lars just 9 seconds behind him. Lars smashed Norseman’s record last year with an impressive time of 9 hours 52 minutes, but Allan has won Norseman twice and has been training all year to beat Lars.

“It’s so cool to have two elite athletes neck and neck in this weather, in these conditions, it’s super fast and it’s super exciting.”

Erik Jungeling

Media Director of Norseman

9:40am: We ascended the infamous Mount Iming, a notorious mountain that Eirik described as a“super villain in an ’80 Hollywood action movie.” It’s a false flat, so once you’ve climbed the steep hundreds of meters up and you think you’re going to be rewarded with some respite.

You’re wrong.

Mount Iming fools you by looking flat, but you actually have another several kilometers of climbing to go. As we drove along this stretch, I was truly blown away by the landscape it was absolutely stunning.

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

10:10am: At the top of Mount Iming we caught up with the two leaders’ support crews:

“He’s doing really well and it’s going to be really, really intense for sure between Lars and Allan, it’s going to be exciting!”

Christian

One half of Lars Christian Vold’s support crew

“He’s doing excellent at the moment, he’s pushing really hard on the mountains and he’s just 200m behind us and we’re going to try and give him some energy drinks and nutrition.”

Stian

Support crew of Allan Hovda

12pm: We arrived at T2. The gateway to the finish line at Gaustatoppen, where all of our triathletes dream of finishing, but only 160 of the 238 athletes would be able to, due to the time cut-offs.

“We’re now in T2 and we’ve just seen Eirik [Ravnan] and Harry [Wiltshire] run off, the podium finishes are going to be really tight, it’s really exciting”

Erik Jungeling

Media Director of Norseman

Here, with the help of their support crew, the athletes quickly changed out of their cycling gear and into their running gear, before running off into the mountains.

Some came off their bikes looking fresh and changed speedily with little care who saw them naked. While others dismounted with stiff legs and pain, looking like the next 42km could be unpleasant.

In true Norseman style, the location was stunning. I couldn’t decide if T1 or T2 was more beautiful, but you guys said T2 and I think I would have to agree.

The sun was out, the crowds lined the transition area, upbeat music was playing and all with a backdrop of the most stunning lake.

We caught up with some of the crowd:Idda, Theresa and Modum, 3 members of Oslo’s Triathlon Club, had cycled here to cheer for 17 of their team members!

As well as a couple of the triathletes crew members:

“Hidde is doing fine, he’s pushing hard, he’s going for the black shirt, he’s doing great, he had a great swim and bike and now he’s going to finish on Gaustatoppen.”

The crew of Hidde Bekhuis, who finished 23rd in Norseman

12:30pm: The first 25km of the run is pancake flat, however this only lulls you into a false sense of relief, as Gautatoppen suddenly looms into view. It’s there to intimidate the triathletes. To tease them and to taunt them, ‘Do you think you can really run and climb 1400m to my summit?’

As Gaustatoppen grew larger and larger, we passed Hovda who looked phenomenally strong considering how far he had already swam and cycled and his pace! Wow! His pace would be a quick sprint for me during a training session!

12:45pm: Oh My Gosh! Zombie Hill is insane!! It’s seriously steep for a LONG time! My mind cannot comprehend how some of our athletes can wind up that side of the mountain, running on the road, on that steep gradient and in the blaring sun. Just wow!

Allan was looking really strong, but second and third place at this point was totally up for grabs!

[Read how three times world car rally champion Andreas Mikkelsen found Zombie Hill, he's never known walking to be so tough: Andreas Mikkelsen's Insane Journey From Rally Driver To Top Triathlete]

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

2pm: The athletes were running, climbing, walking and crawling up the trail to Gaustatoppen, but the Norseman Live TV team, Helen Webster and Daniel Granberg, Producer at Spocks Family, Erik and I caught 2 funiculars, which were over 70 years old to the summit of Gaustatoppen and wow!

Norseman is known for being unique, known for being tough and known for epic landscapes and it did not fail to deliver. The top of Gaustatoppen was simply outstanding. The view took your breathe away, with mossy green mountains, escarpments slashing through the landscape and sapphire lakes stretched out as far as the eye could see.

We also experienced the infamous weather. Within 1 hour we had hail, torrential rain, sunshine and rainbows! It was extraordinary!!

“It’s absolutely amazing, you can see this vast landscape you can see the showers of the rain and you can see the trail where all the athletes are going to run up in the next hour!"

Erik Jungeling

Media Director of Norseman

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

3.45pm: The excitement and anticipation built over the hour as we kept our eyes peeled for any sight of Hovda coming up Gaustatoppen. It was a little like Where’s Wally? As between the ant sized tourists and epic landscape you couldn’t make out who was a triathlete, spectator or a large rock!!

Then our time keeper amazingly spotted him - I have no idea how, as Hovda’s attire camouflaged him perfectly against the surrounding landscape.

It was now on. The winner was approaching. You could start to hear the cheers and even as I write this now, my hairs raise and my body tingles. It was a magical and awe-inspiring moment. One that happened slowly but also very fast all at the same time.

3:05pm: “HIJA HIJA HIJA HIJA HIJA HIJA!” - the crowd cheered, creating an electrifying atmosphere as Allan Hovda took hold of his gigantic Norwegian flag and proudly held it above his head, as he power walked and jogged up the last steps to the finish line…winning Norseman!!

For me, it was a whirlwind moment of emotion, excitement, adrenalin, gratitude and just such a privilege to experience that finish with him. I can’t imagine how it felt for him.

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

“Now I’m feeling really good, it was such a relief to cross the line, honestly I’m quite tired. I had a great swim and a really good bike and I felt amazing on the run, but then after 20km you don’t feel that amazing anymore so you have to start working…..winning is always nice…this year I was eager to get back and show that I’m the King Of Norseman!”

Allan Hovda

3x Norseman winner, 1x winner Swissman, Lofoten Triathlon and Ironman Haugesund

3:15pm: Kjell Magnus was next to follow in Allan’s footsteps, with the crowd cheering HiJa and clapping him in as he crossed the finish line, claiming second place!

3:16pm: Lars Christian Vold was hot on Magnus’ heels and Lars claimed third place, celebrating his podium finish with his incredible support crew and beautiful family. Lars did extraordinarily well as he was having issues with an old calf injury during the race.

4:15pm: Unfortunately Erik and I couldn’t stay to see Mette cross the finish line, but we caught her astonishing finish on the Live TV! Mette won the female race, smashed the course record by 48 minutes and came 12th place overall. Heini soon followed Mette 6 minutes later claiming second place and they both became the first two females at Norseman to achieve a sub-12 hour race! Amazing!

[Read my race report which discloses how Allan and Mette found Norseman: Queen and King of the World's Ultimate Triathlon: A Smashed Course Record and Triple Winner

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

Header photo credit: Agurtxane Concellon

“I feel euphoric [having crossed the finish line]. This is insane. I was so freaking nervous the whole week! The swim was beautiful, except that I got cramps from 2km and they stuck with me all of the way. I felt really powerful on the bike and I had an ok run until 16km, then I had stomach issues, but whatever, it was freaking amazing! I also really enjoyed racing with the people that I admire and love. I had a blast!”

Mette Petterson

1x Norseman winner, smashing the women's record

4:30pm We arrived in Gaustablikk, where the athletes would be staying after they’ve become a Norseman and the destination for those athletes who didn’t make the black tee shirt time cut off at the 32km mark.

Only 160 athletes are allowed through the 32km mark to make it to the top of Gaustatoppen and claim the coveted black tee shirt. The other athletes must run 8 loops of around 100m at Gaustablikk and when they cross the finish line in Gaustablikk, they achieve their hard earned white tee shirt.

5pm: We caught up with the lucky runners who had just scraped the cut off time at the top of Zombie Hill and were on their way to Gaustatoppen:

“It feels awesome [to have made the black teeshirt cut off]. It’s my 4th black tee shirt Norseman and by far the worse one, it was so fast!”

Andreas Spark

Norseman athlete

“It feels great [to be on my way to a black tee shirt], I was 160!”

Snorre Gunnarschjå

Norseman athlete

6pm: We watched with awe as athletes who had given Norseman everything they had, ate up the kilometre’s on the final stretch of the white tee shirt course:

“Today has been almost perfect, I didn’t get to the mountain top but I’m together with great people on the white tee shirt route so I’m happy."

Hårek Stranheim

Founder of Norseman and 10x Norseman finisher

“I have given it all I had, my support has been pushing me and was barely able to stand.”

Jone Owe

Norseman athlete

“It’s fantastic [to be so close to finishing Norseman] I was 163 at the cut off and the guys just gave up, but I decided to be the first to finish the white tee shirt course!”

Vivian Skjeie

First white tee shirt Norseman finisher

And Vivian went on to do just that, smashing Norseman’s white tee shirt course with a sub-14 hour finishing time!!

Photo credit: Erik Jungeling

Photo credit: Erik Jungeling

6.30pm: Bent Olav, co-founder of Norseman, ran with all of the white tee shirt athletes with a gigantic Norwegian flag flowing behind him. Bent cheered them on, spreading his contagious positivity and making their white tee shirt experience even more memorable.

9pm: Our white tee shirt athletes are still going! After more than 16 1/2 hours of racing it was truly awe-inspiring to see the athletes radiating with positivity, digging deep, giving off energy and having smiles spread across their faces as they continued their race to the finish.

12:48pm: The last athlete crossed the finish line. Wow.

Want to watch the race? Check out the race review summary film below!

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AND check out my Instagram Stories take over by heading to Norseman's Instagram feed (@nxtri) and clicking #nxtri2018 highlights!

Header photo credit: José Luis Hourcade