Go Go Go Charles!
Good luck CB Enjoy!
The Article Triple... I thought it was a drink, so I read the manual.
Its a 4km swim, 196km bike, 45km run.
* no mention about any levels of accent/decent
Good Luck Mr Barclay
(the manual also says you probably will have to get off your bike and push due to high winds at some points)
Heja Heja Charles! I was in Tromso in June for the midnight sun marathon and it was incredibly beautiful, I'd love to go to Lofoten. I only managed 10 minutes in the sea there, was a bit cold for me. Best of luck!
Charles finished in 27th place having spent 17 hours 37 minutes triathlon-ing in the sunny waters and mountains of the Norwegian arctic circle.
Despite Charles spending over one and a half hours in the "fresh" arctic water, the Greenland sharks (and killer whales) went hungry meaning there is unfortunately no availability of value for money second hand ZIPP wheels.
It will be interesting to hear Mr Barclay's views of whether to make this Lofoten race the 2018 Windrush club championships for longer distance triathlon. And of course looking forward to any snaps JC may have managed to take....while on a break from shark/killer whale lookout duty.
Well done Charles though seriously that is some serious adventure!
Well done Charles... Great achievement though total madness of course!
See you very soon
Well that was quite an experience, even without the Greenland shark putting in an appearance.
I have a thing about races on islands and having done tropical (St Croix) and temperate (Lanzarote), an island in the Arctic Circle seemed just the place for an extreme tri when friends in Oslo suggested Lofoten as an alternative to the Norseman (now well-nigh impossible to get in to with 4000 applicants for 250 places this year).
Norwegian managed to lose my bike between Oslo and Bodo, so the run up to race day was a nerve wracking round of calls and emails to trace it and get it delivered to Svolvaer where the race takes place. It arrived on the morning before race day, so it was lucky we left London on the Tuesday and not a day later.
The swim was a 4km sea trek around the barrier island of Svolvaer harbour in glassy calm conditions and clear cold water (14 degrees). I got a good tow from a female participant until I realised her navigation was hopeless and we were swimming twice as far as we needed to! Reported swimming distances varied between 4.5 and 5.5km so perhaps the swim was a bit long, but delightful in the early morning sunshine.
The bike is almost 200km around three islands, crossing high bridges between and for the most part skirting the mountains. The wind was calm, the sky clear, the roads empty and the scenery amazing. I was on my road bike with clip ons; at times I just sat up and rode on the hoods, just enjoying the moment. We were truly blessed, considering that the following day was a force nine gale. I poodled round, not really in race mode at all, just happy to be there. At one particularly scenic point the film crew drew alongside in their car and tried to interview me on the move but I had just stuffed half a Ride bar in to my mouth so instead of bon mots, they got a spray of half chewed peanuts and chocolate! Somehow I dont think that will make the cut.
The run was a toughie. The first 25km was an undulating road run, with 15k on the main highway with a fair bit of traffic. I got to the checkpoint before the mountain stage an hour and fifteen before the deadline, picked up my rucksack and changed to trail shoes. Now for a pleasant stroll in the hills to the finish thought I. Wrong! The trail was a tiny path over very rough terrain, alternately boggy and rocky, some parts ridiculously steep. When Norwegians say a run is technical in parts, what they mean is that you should be happy doing rock scrambling above precipitous drops and clambering up/down ludicously steep mountainsides. On iM legs. With slippy, muddy trail shoes.
At some point I really did not think I could finish. I'd run out of water, my transponder was broken after I fell on it, my feet were bleeding in my lightweight trail shoes and I was running out of time. But then I happened on the last checkpoint and my support crew, everyone shouting Heja! Heja! You can do it! , so on I went. From the top of the last mountain Svolvaer was spread out below me as a carpet of lights in the dusk; now all I had to do was clamber down again swinging from tree to tree like an orangutang as my legs could no longer work as shock absorbers.
It was a warm, benign evening, not typical Lofoten weather at all. As I ran in to the square, all the athletes who had finished roared encouragement from the bar terraces and the organisers gave me a big hug on crossing the line. I finished in 17:37:54, just over 22 minutes before the final cut off, 27th out of 29 finishers and the oldest competitor in the field.
If you fancy an antidote to over-packaged, over-crowded Ironman races and to have a real adventure, this race will give you want you want. It is also a super-friendly event where everyone chats to everyone else and you really do feel part of a special family, priveleged to take part. Absolutely fantastic.
More Lofoten pics
Last lot of Lofoten pios
Charles, you are a bloody legend!!! Amazing that only 29 people finished this race and YOU, old chap, were one of them! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you had club kit on and I can't wait to give you a huge hug.