It was at the turn of the millennium, Hårek Stranheim wanted to organize a unique competition. This was his vision:
“I want to create a completely different race, make it a journey through the most beautiful nature of Norway, let the experience be more important than the finish time, and let the participants share their experience with family and friends, who will form their support. Let the race end on top of a mountain, to make it the toughest full distance triathlon on planet earth”.
The course runs point-to-point – or fjord to peak: Starting at sea level, with a 4 meter drop off a ferry into the Hardangerfjord, crossing the starkly haunting Hardangervidda mountain plateau, finishing at the rocky peak of Gaustatoppen, at 1,850m above sea level and 220km away. Norseman is a long day’s journey through some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery. The total ascent is 5,000 meters. The water is cold, clean, and comes lightly salted. The weather can be anything from brilliantly beautiful to blasting blizzard, sometimes all in one day. If you’re really lucky, you may see porpoises, orcas or reindeer.
This is the triathlon where you may find yourself all alone on a small bike on top of a big mountain plateau. Getting the sense of being marooned in a vast landscape only suited for reindeer and hard rocks. Where there’s no one to who sees you, hears you or cheering you on. It’s just you, your bike and the will to make it to the finish line.
Norseman is a tribute to triathlon, where you bring your best friends and family to join the party. You bring them as your support. As your safe haven. You join together as a team, where your best friend is the one handing you the bottle that makes you get up another ascent.
And when you get to the finish line, if it is on Gaustatoppen or Gaustablikk, your hard work and effort will get rewarded – Our approval of your success; a t-shirt.
But most important off all, you can claim the title of a true triathlete: You are a Norseman