Iron-distance races: the 11 toughest
Make no mistake all 11 of these Ironman distance triathlons are tough and not for the faint-hearted, but which is the toughest long-distance race of all? We crunch some stats to find out...
07) Norseman Xtreme, Norway: Tough Score 85/100
Long fabled as the hardest race on planet tri, the Norseman is so tough you’ll need a support crew throughout. And with a 15:35hr median finish time, the stats don’t lie...
"The Norseman is an adventure. I could prepare for Kona," says Tim DeBoom who is a two-time Ironman world champ and won here in 2011, "but this one is a lot more abstract as you have to train on the course descriptions. The swim and the bike were what I expected, but the final 20km of the run caught me off guard. There’s a 12km section with a gradient of 10% called Zombie Hill, and that’s a good description. The finale is a 1,500m slog up rocks and scree – it was like power hiking – that ends at the top of Gaustatoppen. Put simply, it’s the toughest race I’ve ever done.