You might think that perhaps the annual Ironman race in Kona Hawaii is the hardest triathlon in the world.
If you think that...you are wrong and we have the proof below.
Most triathlon insiders consider the annual Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in Norway to be the hardest organized triathlon race in the world.
Because not only does the race start in frigid cold waters in the pitch darkness of a Scandinavian fjord, but it finishes on top of a mountain.
In in between the swim and the run there's of course a bike course that can best be described as straight up and straight down over and over again.
According to the races web site:
"Norseman is the world’s toughest long-distance 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 first about 160 participants are expected to be allowed to finish at the top of the mountain. The others are allowed to finish at the mountain plateau.
The race is limited to only 240 competitors. The competitors need to bring their own support. Normally about 45% of the participants are non-Norwegians and about 15% are female. The prize to the winner is the same as to the last to finish at the top of the mountain; a fabulous black t-shirt. Norseman is the race any hard core triathlete should do once in a lifetime.
The male record holder is Bjorn Andersson (Sweden). He hit a snowstorm at mountain Gaustatoppen, but still finished at 10:30 in 2005. The female record holder is Susanne Buckenlei (Germany) at 13:13 in 2011"
If the weather turns bad...that's just all part of the fun.
Don't believe us. Watch the video below and you'll probably think ten times before signing up for the Aug 6th 2011 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon....or perhaps not.