The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon - the ultimate triathlon - part 1


The history

The Zalaris Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is one of the toughest triathlon competitions in the world and has been held annually in Norway since 2003.

"It's the race that any hard core triathlete should do at least once."

("It's the race that any hard core triathlete should do at least once").

Date: August 06, 2022

Start: 4m jump from a ferry into the Hardangerfjord - near Eidfjorden

Finish: summit of Gaustatoppen at 1850 m

Distances: 3,86 km swimming, 180 km cycling, 42,2 km running

Total ascent: 5000 m

Around the turn of the millennium, Hårek Stranheim wanted to create a unique competition. His vision was to create a completely new race that would be a journey through the most beautiful nature in Norway. The focus was not so much on the finishing time, but on the experiences that the athletes gathered along the way and shared with their friends and family. After all, they should support the competitors on their journey. The race was to end at the top of a mountain, making it the toughest triathlon in the world. (Source: )

After the idea for the triathlon was born, a route had to be found: The race runs from the Hardanger Fjord through the absolutely unforgettable Hardangervidda mountain plateau to the rocky peak of Gaustatoppen 220 km away, forming a journey through Norway's most spectacular landscape. At the first race in 2003, after 2 years of planning, a group of 21 competitors entered the race.

Norseman Extreme

Starting places

Meanwhile, starting places are allocated for 250 participants.Of these, 100 are women and 150 are men, of which 50% of the total starting places are reserved for domestic Norwegian starters*.

The demand for the starting places is enormous. In 2019, almost 8100 starters applied for the 150 men's starting places, among which the starting places were drawn by lot. Each nation may have a maximum of 10 starters at the start (men and women).

Since 2003, a total of 3525 people have finished the race. Attention Funfact! It is assumed that in 2022 almost 4000 people will start at the Ironman in Hawaii. This means that in one year more people will start the Ironman Hawaii than have ever finished the Norseman. That speaks of course very much for the exclusivity of this event.

The Finish

Unfortunately only 160 people are allowed to enter the finish on Gaustatoppen, because the summit can't take more people. The athletes who make it to the top receive the legendary black finisher shirt. The other athletes finish the marathon below Gaustatoppen and get a white finisher shirt.

Photo credit: Alexander Horstson Koerner/