He took 9:43 to cover the epic point-to-point course, overhauling countryman Lars Petter Stormo on the run to come home the winner with six minutes to spare. Third place went to another Norwegian, up-and-coming youngster Lars Kristian Vold, who was another five minutes in arrears.
The women’s race went to Kirstin Lie of Norway, who finished in a handy 11:50 that included a 4:36 run up to the top of Gustatoppen mountain. She didn’t get there without a fight, though – she had to battle Norway’s Line Foss to the end, finishing nearly three minutes ahead. Third place went to Line Marie Langseth in 12:13.
The race saw 249 athletes from around the world tackle the spectacular, and spectacularly challenging, landscape of the Hardangervidda plateau and the rocky finish atop Gaustatoppen mountain, 1870 meters above sea level.
Fast times were recorded on the day in part because the swim was shortened to 1900 meters in the interest of athlete safety – the water temperature at the Hardanger Fjord was measured at 10.5 degrees Celsius on Friday. It was the first time in the race’s history the swim has been shortened.