Norseman 2018: CR de JF Viaud

Voici mon rapport de course. Désolé, il est en anglais car je l’ai écrit aussi pour le groupe du Norseman.

I left La Rochelle, France, on the 24th of July and went back, yesterday, the 15th of August.
Here is my race report.

On the eve, we were in Lofthus, almost one hour far from Eidfjord, so we left at one in the morning … in case of. At two AM, we were park.
Everything is peaceful, the first crew people begin to arrive.

I’m not late so I take time to install my gear in T1, check the last details, etc. Then comes the time to leave my wife-support and my two daughters and get into the ferry.
It sounds like a farewell.

During the travel, we were few french guys and discuss. The atmosphere is relaxed. Then comes the time to get down, Bent « wash » us with the water of the fjord.
Definitely not cold, all these icy-showers for nothing 🙂 I take time before jumping to enjoy these last minutes before 5 am, THE H-hour.

I reach the start line, completely on the right, to be as near as possible from the coast. « TUUUUUTTTTTT ». Let’s go ! I swim completely on the right, quite alone, on my own pace.
Very rapidly, I am able to see the brazier behind the buoy, so I swim straight to it. I really enjoy swimming in the fjord, I feel well.

T1 : Tory helps me to go out. 1h06, my best swim. My wife-support tells me that I did a great swim. I’m happy 🙂
I take time to change myself, eat, drink, etc. Let’s go for the bike leg.

First climb on the old road absolutely wonderfull and then the tunnel is impressive.
When I get outside, the weather is wet, cold and foggy. I smile : this is really the Norseman !
Ten minutes after, I feel bad : my back is contractured and my intestins are dancing the salsa … I’m cycling slowly, not able to eat nor drink.
km40 : I see my wife-support, I tell her : « This is HELL ! » (On Sunday, she told me that I’ve said this sentence almost fifty times 🙂

I continue my way down to Geilo. I know that my ranking is falling. I try to recover, find a good way to sit on my saddle.
As I’m very slow, I take time to watch the landscape and in my head the conclusion is : It’s as wonderfull as I feel bad 🙂 I smile.
Arriving in Geilo, I feel better, I reassure my family. I enjoy the first climb to Kikkut, the weather is sunny and neither cold nor hot.
Second climb to Skurdalen as well. Third climb to Vasstulan, it seems to have no end. My back is again painful.

Last climb to Imingfjell. This time, I’m sure, it really has no end … I again feel bad. My legs aren’t able to cycle anymore. I’m paying my bad feeding.
I walk beside my bike a few minutes, I drink, I eat, I recover. Then I go back on my bike. I’m so happy to ear the bells at the top 🙂
I carefully go down to T2, enjoying the landscape.

T2 : my ranking is now 200, I lost more than a hundred place. In my head : « Am I able to get 40 place ? ». I begin to run, I feel good, my pace is 5:30.
But in front of me, other guys too ! I don’t feel able to run 5:00, I say goodbye to the black T-shirt and try to enjoy the run leg.

I maintain a low level of pain, running slowlier and slowlier, roughly to km20. Bib199 (Javier ALVAREZ) exhange a few words (Sorry, I wasn’t able to run with you).
First time I see Mt Gauta, Whaou ! I feel shared : I’m sad, because I won’t be allowed to climb; I’m relieved, because I won’t have to climb !
And then, comes Zombie Hill, impressive. Argh, it’s going to be hard.

My wife-support gives me a bucket of stawberries, I have water in my bag and … here we go ! Again, « This is HELL » 🙂
The first straight line before the first turn really has no end.
My watch indicate 14:00 by km. It’s going to be long, I will be late for diner. I give some strawberries to other athletes or support, exhange few words.
It’s long, I’m tired, I fell alone.
After turn four, my wife-support is back; I feel so happy to see her again. That’s a miracle. She won’t leave me until the end, and that makes the end much easier.

km32.5 : Tory tells me a few words. The most difficult is done. The last 10km will be long but easier.

km36 : Gaustablikk. Many athletes, and support, and families, and crew … are already here, turning round. The atmosphere is really joyful.
Bent is encouraging us with his large flag of Norway. Each finisher have is national anthem. My parents and my two daughters are here, sometime running with me.
And then, the last turn. My national anthem. The finish line. All my family is here. A few tears. The soup is so tasty !

That was HELL, and that was MAGNIFICENT. Yes, hell can be magnificent 🙂

And now what ? Ten days after, I’m thinking about this day everyday.
A couple of years ago, when I watched official videos, the words « True, Basic, Unique » sounds attractive to me, but I didn’t really understand.
Now, I feel them in my body.
Norseman is not « official Ironman TM », there are no spotlights, no blue carpet; it is basic.
During the bike leg through Hardangervidda national park, nature looks untouched, human preserved, sometimes tough, often impressive, and always beautiful; it is true.
All people involved in this story, organizers, crew, athletes, supports, etc. creates during these days (from the briefing of friday, to the ceremony of sunday) an incredible
atmosphere. This is the spirit of Norseman; it is unique.

« Thank you » is not enough, but I can’t find words.

That’s not finished : I get the white T-shirt. I will never know : if everything had been good to me, would I have been able to get the black one ?
I probably have been naive. In « Isklar Norseman Xtrem Triathlon », the most important is not the very pure water from Isklar.
I come from La Rochelle, which is not « fairly flat » but « absolutely flat »; I lacked some hill climbing.
I came to triathlon four years ago, Norseman was my 13th triathlon of all my life. I lacked of experiments.
For the two following years, I will train, progress, lower my weaknesses and then … enter the lottery again in 2020 !


Un grand bravo à JF et merci pour ce CR.

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