Norseman 2012 Race Report by Smitty Smith
The website for the Norseman claims this: “The Norseman is the world’s toughest long-distance triathlon. It is also the most northern, taking place at the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska. The race is a travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Norway. It is not a normal circuit-race as it starts in a fjord and finishes at mountain Gaustatoppen at 1,850 meters above sea level. Total ascent is 5,000 meters. The water temperature is normally about 15.5 degrees C, and the air temperature normally ranges from 6 to 28 degrees C through the race day. The race is limited to only 240 competitors. The competitors need to bring their own support. Norseman is the race any hard core triathlete should do once in a lifetime.”
It is some months back and I get a call from Mark Miller, he tells me he had applied for the Norseman and gotten accepted. I knew what that meant. I remember the first time they held the race 10 years ago, it intrigued the hell out of me and frightened me at the same time (it’s a sickness). I told him he was nuts and that I was jealous. He then explained he needed a support crew, someone that could drive along with him all day then run up a mountain at the end with him (Sherpa time! – I do believe that I was Tenzing Norgay in my previous life). Asking me to go halfway around the world to witness insanity and run up a mountain is like asking Eric Bernard if he wants his socks to match.
So, we were set, I just had to keep my butt in enough shape to run a few miles up a mountain….he on the other hand had to pull it together to knock off a beast of an ironman in a foreign country. Our final schedule had us taking off on Tuesday, racing on Saturday and returning on the Monday….a whirlwind tour at best. Some 11,000 plus miles in the air. Our flight out on Tuesday took us from Lafayette to Houston, Houston to Amsterdam (10 hrs), Amsterdam to Copenhagen, and finally Copenhagen to Bergen. In Bergen we were to rent a car and drive through the country side for almost 3 hours to our village of Kinsarvik.
To read the full report, please click here.