Last year my brother Karl Otto joined Trollveggen Triathlon. I was just a spectator back then, but I saw how much fun he had and I really wanted to experience it for myself.
This year two of my brothers and my sister-in-law competed with me in this event.
The triathlon starts down in the fjord and finishes at 1500 meters altitude on Trollveggen, northern Europe's highest vertical wall.
Swimming - 1200 meters
The swimming was changed a little bit from last years competition. This time it was better for the spectators, as the entire swim leg would be done right outside the harbor. The water in Norway at this time is usually very cold, and I was very happy that they didn't reduce the swimming distance like they did last year. As we were entering the water, the rain started pooring. For the athletes this wasn't a problem, but for the spectators it became a very wet experience.
My expereience of the swim was mostly chaotic, as I had put my new big open water googles on over my swim cap, which resulted in severe water leakage and salt water in my eyes. I had to stop every 100-150 meters to empty the googles, but I still finished with a respectable time of 25 minutes, exiting the water as number 32 out of 200.
Biking - 40 kilometers (750 elevation)
T1 went well, but because of all the water drops from the rain I didn't see anything through my glasses at first, and it resulted in me having some trouble getting on the bike. But once I was on I was flying, at least as long as it was flat. After only a few minutes on the bike I caught up with my oldest brother Thomas. He had exited the water 30 seconds before me, but struggled with the transition.
Karl Otto, the third brother, were further behind. But his strengths are in the climbs, which ment that I needed to keep a solid pace throughout the race to keep him behind me. The flat part went by really fast, and I managed to gain a couple of positions, but as the climb started I saw how much worse I was at climbing than the other contestants. When I entered the Trollstigen platou I had lost 15 positions and were now number 45. A fast T2 and I was number 44.
Running - 5 kilometers (750 elevation)
Even though this leg starts off with some running, it's hard to actually call it a running leg. Some parts of the terrain is so steep and so challanging to walk that only the best of the best actually run. After a short flat section, the first really steep hill comes. Many of the people around me tried to run all the way up, but soon regretted their choice. I started gaining on some people, and as the hill ended i managed to run past several of them. But the terrain only flattened out for a short while before it became steep again. This hill wasn't made from dirt, but purely from rocks, and it was steep. During section time my legs started cramping, and I sensed that if I gave to much each push I would have to stop, so I needed to keep my cool.
The hill ended, and it got flat. But there were still only rocks as far as I could see, so running was very difficult. running was only possible on the patches of snow still lying in the mountains. Now the worst part was over, and I had only a tiny hill to run down before entering the last little uphill towards Trollveggen. Unfortunately though I managed to get a serious cramp on the way down, and was skipping on my right foot in the snow. Luckily, the cramp ended as I finished the downhill and I could walk the last part towards the finish line without any pain.
I ended up at 39th with the time 3.03.09. But most importantly, I beat both my two brothers to the top. This race has probably been my best experience ever. I went tthrough struggles on all the different legs of the triathlon, but was always happy and smiling. I enjoyed every minute of it. Even though the running in itself is rubbish, the entire package that this race contains is just top notch.
I never remembered to film during this race, but another contestant made a video about his experience.