History

The concept of the Xtreme Triathlons takes the athletes back to the roots of triathlon. Only their own performance, the family atmosphere and the experience in the midst of breathtaking scenery are in the foreground. The cooperation between the organisers of SWISSMAN, Norseman and Celtman aims to promote and spread these values of triathlon.

Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon celebrated its tenth anniversary in summer 2012! The highly challenging course over the Irondistance from Hardangerfjord, through the largest plateau in Europe and finally up the highest mountain in the province of Telemark, made the Norseman a unique triathlon experience.

Today, many years after the inaugural event, the 250 starting places at the Norseman are raffled among many thousands of applicants from over 60 nations on all five continents. The enthusiasm for this event among endurance athletes is enormous.

Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon

In cooperation with the organisers of the Norseman, the Celtman was therefore held in Scotland for the first time in summer 2012. Under the motto “In the Spirit of the World’s finest Xtreme Triathlons “, the Celtman is the second successful competition based on the principle “back to the roots of triathlon”

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The first ever SWISSMAN

The finishers of the first SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon on 22 June 2013.

In June 2013, the time had come in Switzerland. The first edition of the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon took place on 22 June 2013. On the way from Brissago to Kleine Scheidegg, around 50 triathletes fought not only against the weather but also against their own limits. The first SWISSMAN is history.

“I went far beyond the limits I had set myself,” said Stierli, winner of the first SWISSMAN, summing up his day after crossing the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg. The athlete from Rickenbach (SG) left his mark on the Xtreme Triathlon: He covered the 3.8 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre bike and 42 kilometre run in 11.29 hours. Stierli, 38, thus distanced Rafael Wyss from Thalwil (ZH, 11.53 hours), who is eight years younger, by 24 minutes. The men’s podium was completed by Andrea Zamboni, 42, (12.05 hours) from Ascona.

The first woman to cross the finish line after 12.39 hours was British-born Emma Pooley from Hausen am Albis. She dominated the women’s field from the start and was able to take more than an hour off Andrea Huser, 39, from Aeschlen ob Gunten (BE) (13.53 hours), despite minor technical problems on the bike course. The third athlete to finish was Julia Nikolopoulos, 36, from Germany (14.46 hours).

A worthy member of the Xtreme Triathlon family
The athletes completed a long-distance triathlon on the SWISSMAN course that had it all. The starting signal for the first stage was given at 5.08 a.m. in front of the islands of Brissago, from where the triathletes swam to Ascona. The 180-kilometre bike course led over the Gotthard, the Furka and the Grimsel, with the weather gods pulling out all the stops from wind, rain and sunshine to further challenge the participants. Finally, in Brienz, it was time to walk up to Kleine Scheidegg, past the breathtaking backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. One of the participants summed up:

“You run a marathon with your muscles, an Ironman with your head – but you can only do the SWISSMAN with your heart.” Marcus Raatz, SWISSMAN finisher 2013

The first SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon went over with a limited field of around 50 athletes. “We were able to gain valuable experience with this in order to welcome a full starting field of around 200 participants next year,” said OC President Beat Stadelmann after the finish. There had been neither injuries nor serious accidents. Done and happy, the man from Winterthur stated: “A dream has come true for us – our event is a worthy member of the Xtreme Triathlon family.”

“SWISSMAN. A sensational event. Absolutely recommendable. To have been a participant in the first SWISSMAN makes me incredibly proud. I hope the story will continue.” Philipp Brack, SWISSMAN finisher

“Well I don’t really have much to say, it was without any doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my life (and I tried some crazy s*** in my life 😉 ). So so hard but SO so beautiful, what a journey!” Billy Munksbog, SWISSMAN finisher, Denmark