Last year, Norseman was postponed due to corona. This year, we were finally back – in, as it turned out, an even more extreme edition, with a lot of wind, a choppy fjord, and a cold, windy mountaintop finish. 87 athletes finished the 226-kilometer long course. No record times, but definitely with record efforts.
The fastest participant was Jon Breivold, who did the Norseman for the first time.
The 26-year-old from Oppegård is relatively new to triathlon. The former cyclist made his debut in the sport last summer. Then he surprised everyone by winning Ironman Tallin at a sensational time. Today he showed that it was no coincidence.
This year’s competition was an effort. Strong winds led to high waves in the Hardangerfjord and constant headwinds on the bike over the Hardangervidda. At the finish line at Gaustatoppen, it was sometimes difficult to stand upright.
– I love this course, with all the hills and mountains. But the others rode so incredibly hard, especially on the bike. Luckily I had the extra power needed as it neared the end. This is undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever done, says Breivold, who collapsed immediately after he reached the finish line.
The final time was 10 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds. Kristian Grue came second; 24 minutes behind. Former Norseman winner Allan Hovda finished third.
Flora Colledge (UK) came out of the water first on the swim. On the bike, she was passed by Julie Aspesletten from Lillehammer. Julie held the lead to the finish.
Aspesletten started triathlon as late as 2019, but she became Norwegian long-distance champion after just one year. Norseman, however, was a rough experience, without it dampening her mood.
– What a day! I really enjoyed myself, says Aspesletten.
– The wind was admittedly strong. At times it felt like I was standing still, but at least we had dry asphalt. And I decided early on to focus on the positive.
It kept right into the gusts of wind and fog on Gaustatoppen, with a final time of 12 hours, 39 minutes, and 18 seconds. Number two was English Flora Colledge. Number three was Dominique Lothaller from Austria.