World’s Toughest Runs: Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

The Isklar Norseman Xtreme triathlon is probably one of the craziest things a person can put themselves through. This race bills itself as, ‘simply the ultimate triathlon on planet Earth’ and we think they’re right. It’s a total of 226km spread over a freezing cold swim, a brutal ride and a seemingly impossible marathon footrace up a mountain. Are you keen to give it a try? Here’s the list of the 5 challenges you must meet head on to complete the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon.

Challenge 1: Securing your place This is a highly desirable race to compete in, perhaps because of it’s reputation. Thousands of people apply for one of the coveted 260 places available each year. Some of these places are reserved for elite athletes on merit and the rest are left to a ballot. If you’re lucky enough to get in, be prepared for some serious hard yards.

Challenge 2: The swim This is not your everyday ocean swim. You’ll find yourself taken by boat to the middle of Eidfjord and required to jump into chilly waters, then swim against the current 4 kilometres back to shore.

Challenge 3: The ride Get on your bike and start chewing through the 180km of trail ahead of you. Climb five mountain passes without stopping to take in the view, and work hard while you make a total vertical ascent of 4100 metres.

Challenge 4: The run Rally your last reserves of energy for a complete 42 kilometre marathon which includes the ascent of Mount Gaustatoppen (1900 metres). This is where the make or break really happens. By now you’re exhausted, cold and probably wondering why on earth you thought this was a good idea.

Challenge 5: The Black Shirt If this is making your heart race a little faster, consider this: only the first 160 athletes to cross the finish line are awarded the coveted Black Shirt. The final finishers are turned away, completing the race at a checkpoint 5km before the summit. They are rewarded with the lesser but still hard earned White Shirt.

This is undoubtedly one of the world’s toughest races. The combination of extreme conditions and unenviable ascents makes sure to deter only the toughest or craziest of competitors.

 

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