2 intrepid PACTRACers took part in the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon on Saturday: Roger Canham and Charlie Brookes.
The Race Literature states:
"This is the triathlon where you may find yourself all alone on a small bike on top of a big mountain plateau. Getting the sense of being marooned in a vast landscape only suited for reindeer and hard rocks. Where there’s no one who sees you, hears you or cheers you on. It’s just you, your bike and the will to make it to the finish line.
Athletes are required to race accompanied by their own support team in a car."
The event takes place 90 miles east of Bergen and 200 miles west of Oslo. Athletes are taken by early morning Ferry to be dropped in the Fjord.
Swim 2.4 miles in Hardangerfjord after being dropped in from the Ferry. Wetsuits are mandatory.
Bike 112 miles from Eidfjord.
Run 26.2 miles - the first 16 miles are relatively flat but the next 11 miles are up a mountain to the top of Mount Gaustatoppen.
A map of the course and general guide to the severity is here http://www.
Roger Canham reports:
I have applied for an entry for this race for the last four years and this year my number came out the hat. Despite having committed to RAAM in June this was too good an opportunity to miss, it most probably would be my only opportunity to do this iconic event.
The day started bright and early with the ferry leaving the dock at 4am. The ferry quietly chugged up the fjord and it seemed that in no time at all, we came to a halt 2.4m away from Eidfjord and T1. We all stood around on the car deck waiting for the bow doors to open and then jump into the icy water to get to the deep water start. One of the myths surrounding the event is that the swim start is a leap from the ferry but thank goodness it is just that, a myth! The organisers were a little miffed that the water was a balmy 17oC, historically it being closer to single figures and the first part of the extreme day.
The gun fired and we were off but with less than 300 athletes, the contact zone soon disappeared and I got into a firm rhythm with some occasional jostling at times for feet to follow. Since it was nearly light, to help sighting T1, they lit a huge bonfire on the shore which was very cool to see and swim towards. It probably ranks as one of the best swims I have had in an event, crystal clear water in the most beautiful surroundings facing into what was undoubtedly going to be an epic day making lifetime memories. It really is an old school event, the original extreme triathlon supported by the community and just a very special vibe amongst the athletes and supporters. Its hard to describe but the buzz was fever pitch, the talk of the challenges the day would bring and the opportunity to compete for the famous BLACK T-SHIRT.
There is no support provided by the event organisers for the athletes, its old school self supported with each athlete allowed two supporters who must be identifiable in their race
t-shirts. They must provide their athlete with all race day logistics and nutrition.
Its a 140.6m point to point race so sweeping up kit left in T1 and T2 is down to your team. Into T1 and Hector, my support, was there like a coiled spring, waiting with my bike kit and in no time running along side me helping to strip my wetsuit.
He helped me on with my cycling kit, popped my bike lights on and gave me a slap on the back as I sped off out of T1 and straight onto the first 19m climb. Up into the clouds we climbed and as riders started to pass me I wondered whether I was showing too much respect to the course and should be more aggressive. I wasn't confident enough to go with them so I let them go and crossed my fingers that it was their misjudgement of the extreme event and not mine.
The ride to the plateau was just epic, about 1300m of elevation through tunnels and on the old mountain roads. Once up there the clouds started to break up revealing incredible vistas, nature at its best. Now down on my tri-bars, I could settle into a rhythm and crank it out. At 15m your crew is allowed to start giving you support in the form of nutrition and any change of clothes required. It is not unusual for temperatures to dip into single digits when high up on the mountain, only to climb into the mid twenties on the descents into the valleys.
After the first big climb there were a series of four climbs punctuated by valleys floors and plateaus. I started to reel in some of the athletes that has passed me earlier and bagged a fair few on the last 12m climb before we hit the 12m 1000m descent into T2. I had left T1 in around 40th spot and entered T2 in almost exactly the same position. You earn your BLACK T-SHIRT by arriving at 20miles in the top 160 athletes so all looked good.
The first 16m of the run is along the side of the lake and by this time the temperature had started to rise. I had planned to run at a firm pace and see if I could make up a couple of places before arriving at the base of ZOMBIE HILL. My support team kept me fuelled with coke and water, leap frogging ahead of me in the car and then jumping out and running along side with a small buffet selection of treats. I arrived at the base of zombie hill in 35th spot, a comfortable buffer to ensure I could bag the coveted garment.
I happily slipped into a power walk, the only realistic way to ascend the 4m hill with an average gradient of 10%. Hector was allowed to accompany me from this point so I had access to a range of sugary treats from his rucksack including cheese sarnies, yum!
We were passed by one or two keen athletes who had a more effective walk but we managed to arrive at the 20m cut off point in 40th place. The next 3m section was rolling but my legs had no interest in running so we put up no resistance to the one or two who came past us. We arrived at the car park at the base of Gaustatoppen mountain. From the bottom of zombie hill to the mountain top finish was 11m and 1800m of elevation gain but the last 3m was straight up the rocky mountain path. Its mandatory for athletes to have a supporter with them for the ascent and both equipped with rucksacks and basic survival equipment.
Its not even a shale path, its a trail of rocks marked with red crosses to pick out the route. Tired legs really struggled to lift up over the boulders. Its was truly extreme, something I might not tackle even with the right foot wear, never mind after 2.4m of swimming, 112m of riding and 20m of running.
But, the views were amazing and we were even treated to a rainbow half way up. That last 3m took over 90 minutes, something that would take a little under 25 minutes on a normal road. I crossed the line with a huge sense of achievement and thrilled to have shared it with Hector, he supported me tirelessly all day and even carried my rucksack up the last of the ascent. We created some lifetime memories, what more could you ask of any event."
59. Roger Canham 1:05:13 6:26:09 5:47:42 = 13:19:04
138. Charlie Brookes 1:09:45 7:24:19 6:30:44 = 15:04:48
Both Roger and Charlie earned their Black T-Shirts.
To put this in perspective:
Roger has recorded a time of sub 10-hours in the tough Hawaii Ironman World Championships.
Charlie's marathon time of 6:30:44 was in the top half of all marathon times.
Steve Hope competed in the European Sprint Championships held in Strathclyde, as part of the overall European Games. Steve came 32nd in his Age Group in 1:20:39. It was a tough, undulating bike course, with some competitor's including Steve, on road bikes, in anticipation of the impending rain, which never materialised.
Male over 55.
32. Steve Hope (PACTRAC) 13:51 43:38 23:10 = 80:39 Age Group 32.
Other Local Athletes:
Male over 55.
38. Chris Shaw (Fenland Clarion) 17:32 42:08 25:46 = 85:26 Age Group 38.
Male over 50.
20. Gilles Corby (BRJ representing France) 13:22 40:17 21:25 = 75:04 Age Group 20.
SwimRutland is a mass participation open water swim event that took place last weekend at Rutland Water. The organiser's promote this as a unique opportunity to swim across one of the countries most recognisable landmarks.
Competitor's had the option of swimming:
2 kilometres - one crossing of the lake from Whitwell.
4 kilometres - across the lake and then back again to the start.
or 8 kilometres - across the lake and then back again TWICE.
519 swimmers completed the various distances, with PACTRAC's Jonathan Oakey coming first overall in the 2k swim. Andrea Robinett, Chris Hirst and Sue Davys also finished in the top-3 in their respective Age Groups.
1. Jonathan Oakey 29:53 AG 1st.
87. Sue Davys 51:11 AG 3.
88. Paul Jephcott 51:11 AG 5.
163. Bernadette Oakey 62:04 AG 10.
15. Andrea Robinett 1:13:48 AG 2.
33. Iain Cushion 1:18:50 AG 7.
42. Chris Hirst 1:24:41 AG 2.
67. Julie Cushion 1:25:06 AG 4.
96. Chris Waghorn 1:28:13 AG 11.
131. James MacWilliam 1:33:59 AG 8.
155. Richard Wright 1:37:55 AG 8.
174 Louise Alexander 1:41:27 AG 15.
Richard Wright competed in the Gower Sprint Triathlon over the distances of:
swim 750 metres - in the sea.
bike 15 miles - heading inland to find some climbs, technical descents and fast flat sections.
run 3 miles - 2 laps, multiterrain.
Richard said: "Gower Triathlon sorted Choppy sea swim ♂️ Hilly wet bike Then leg sapping sand beach/dune run "
Richard had a great run to gain lots of places and come in 81st overall.
81. Richard Wright 16:22 59:09 21:15 = 96:46
Paul Lunn joined up with Duncan Shea-Simmonds for their 3rd attempt at the Breca swim,run in Lake Buttermere. The pair came a fantastic 2nd overall in a time of 6:23:46, 17-minutes behind the winners but 22 minutes ahead of 3rd place in this very tough event (4 teams didn't finish). Coaches take the teams of two to the start at Derwent Hill. Wetsuits and whistles are compulsory. The event consists of 28-miles of swimming (in training shoes) and running (in wetsuits). 24-miles of running and 4-miles of swimming taking in Crummock Water, Buttermere and Derwent Water.
2nd. Paul Lunn and Duncan Shea-Simmonds 6:23:46.
The PACTRAC Standard Distance Triathlon was held at Oundle on Sunday.
swim 1800 yards - 36 lengths in Oundle Pool.
bike 30-miles. 3 laps around Glapthorn and tyhe Benefield's.
run 6.25 miles - out around Glapthorn and Cotterstock.
Jonathan Arnold led out of the swim but Mark Weathersby overtook him on
the bike. Mark was then caught by Jonny Hynes and the pair came into T2
together, before Mark pushed on, in the run to win by 4 3/4 minutes.
Dave Thorrold moved up to 3rd on the bike and held it, from Tony
Daniels in 4th. Georgina Jennings finished first lady, and in doing so,
took the ladies Club Championship Trophy.
Results are on https://pactrac.co.uk/events/4216/
This was the final Club Championship event of the year with an
athlete's best 3 results from 4 races taken into account.
Mark Weathersby completed his 3rd event and achieved the maximum points
The Standard Distance Triathlon rather changed things in both the Men's
and Women's Club Championships.
Mark Weathersby and Tony Daniels completed their third events to jump
into 1st and 3rd, knocking Simon down to 2nd and the Steve's down to
4th and 5th.
1. Mark Weathersby.. 300.00
2. Simon Hoppe ....... 294.252
3. Tony Daniels ........ 282.807
4. Steve Hope .......... 278.401
5. Stephen Comber .. 271.892
In the Ladies Trophy, nobody completed the Mid-Distance in May, and
Georgina Jennings took full advantage to jump into first place today.
1. Georgina Jennings .. 210.768
2. Hannah Bassett ...... 174.575
3. Mariska Niemeijer ... 153.738
4. Sue Davys ............... 143.672
Jonathan Arnold improved his overall score to confirm the Junior Title.
1. Jonathan Arnold ..... 253.111
Georgina said: "I've been in Pactrac since 1992 and never won it!!!"
Well done to Mark, Georgina and Jonathan.
3 PACTRACers completed Ironman Copenhagen on Sunday. Louise Alexander
did a fantastic time in just over 12 hours, whilst Terry Murphy came
3rd in his Age Group (70-74). Terry started out on this journey in 2016
with a half-Ironman, entered the full Bolton Ironman last year, but
didn't start due to a leg injury, and this year he has put everything
into completing a full Ironman.
swim 2.4 miles.
bike 112 miles.
run 26.2 miles.
Terry Murphy 1:35:21 6:45:39 6:02:00 = 14:23:00 AG 3. A
pretty consistent pace throughout the bike section, with a pick-up
towards the end.
Louise Alexander 1:19:26 6:00:09 4:43:26 = 12:03:01 AG
30. A consistent bike split throughout.
Barry Ryan 1:19:07 6:13:14 4:49:37 = 12:21:58 AG 235.
Jonathan Ratcliffe swam the Kaiwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu in
Hawaii on Sunday. https://track.rs/ratcliffe/ Only 60 swimmers have
swum this solo - 61 now. It's 29 miles across and one of the "Big
Severn" swims in the whole wide world and took Jonathan 14:09 hours.
For 29 miles that's an average of 29:12 minutes odd for each mile.