First British winner of the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon
Flora Colledge makes it a British one-two
(Photo credit for header image: Alexander Koerner/nxtri.com)
The iconic 2019 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon also hosted the debut of the XTRI World Championship, reflecting the organic growth and popularity of ‘Xtreme’ long distance racing, and development of the XTRI World Tour series (www.xtriworldtour.com).
At the end of 2016 (you can read it HERE), I did an interview with Lucy Gossage, entitled “Don’t write me off yet!“, a reference to the end of her full-time sporting career, returning to work as an oncologist (and since then, promoted to a Consultant…). She was quite sure that would not be the ‘end’ of her ability to perform, reflected in this quote:
“I like racing and that’s why it annoyed me last week when somebody said to me ‘you won’t enjoy it as much when you are not as good’. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that I might not be as good.”
Almost three years on – and with eight consecutive wins from six IRONMAN races and two XTRI starts since then – including collecting the inaugural XTRI World Championship today at the top of Gaustatoppen – I think it is fair to say that title has stood the test of time!
Incredibly, that’s now FOURTEEN times that she has finished first over the iron-distance, one more than Chrissie Wellington’s 13 and just two short of the 16 of Bella Bayliss.
Lucy Gossage – 14 career iron-distance wins
|IRONMAN Italy (Emilia-Romagna)||2017|
|Norseman XTRI World Championship||2019|
Third out of the swim (57:31) from the World Championship athletes, a swift transition saw her immediately start the bike in second and then take the lead around two and half hours later. She started the run approximately 25 minutes clear of Swissman winner, Flora Colledge, who had finished third 12 months ago, and the British pair held those positions for the next 26 miles, Lucy’s marathon time was 4:28:32 with Flora 4:33:01. Third in 2018, second in 2017… perhaps Flora will be back again next year to complete the set of Norseman podium positions?!
Lucy’s post-race comments:
“That was so hard… it was amazing, the bike was incredible…. and Zombie Hill on the run… who thought that up?! It’s unbelievable. I wanted an adventure – and that was certainly an adventure.”
The men’s race had an incredible finish, as three-time Norseman winner Allan Hovda (NOR) was overtaken in sight of the summit of Gaustatoppen by Hans Christian Tungesvik (NOR). The pair had been separated by little more than three minutes for the entire 10 hours of the race, the gap at the finish just 72 seconds.
“I knew it was my day – everything went perfect” was a thrilled Hans Christian Tungesvik’s post-race comment.
Scotland’s Graeme Stewart has race to several top finishes at the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in recent years (6th in 2014, 4th in 2015) and he did so again, the first British finisher today to take fifth place in the XTRI World Championships. He started the run in eight position, moving up to fifth at the finish via a 3:56:11 run that includes some seriously challenging off-road ascending.
Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon – Saturday 3rd August 2019
XTRI World Championship Division Results
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
1st – Hans Christian Tungesvik (NOR) – 9:59:40
2nd – Allan Hovda (NOR) – 10:00:52
3rd – Jarle Wermskog (NOR) – 10:18:04
4th – Michal Rajca (POL) – 10:23:27
5th – Graeme Stewart (GBR) – 10:26:13
10th – Alan Semple (GBR) – 10:49:16
1st – Lucy Gossage (GBR) – 11:27:12
2nd – Flora Colledge (GBR) – 11:56:53
3rd – Line Mari Langseth (NOR) – 12:08:09
4th – Emma Whyte (GBR) – 12:37:02
5th – Julia Montgomery (SWE) – 12:41:39
8th – Marie Meldrum (GBR) – 13:08:42
9th – Kelly Stokes (GBR) – 13:20:31