Perfect conditions after heavy thunderstorm

The eighth edition of the Swissman Xtreme Triathlon is history. Under perfect weather conditions 213 athletes from 35 nations tackled the 5500 meters of altitude and 226 kilometers. The triathlon was dominated by XTRI World Champion Hans Christian Tungesvik from Norway, who mastered the challenging course in under 12 hours, and Flora Colledge from Switzerland, who reached the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg as the first woman for the third time in a row.  

 

Heavy rainfall clears the sky 

Ticino is known for violent summer thunderstorms. They are rarely as violent as on June 24. It poured down on the Bagno Pubblico in Ascona, where the opening ceremony took place outdoors for the first time after a two-year break. But the weather could not dampen the anticipation of the upcoming adventure, as one look into the beaming eyes of the athletes and their supporters confirmed. As fierce as it came, as quickly it was over again. Under a bright blue sky, the 213 athletes set off at 5 in the morning on the 3.8 km swim course from the Brissago Islands to Ascona. Despite the headwind and the light waves, all athletes reached the Bagno Pubblico in the given time. From there the bike course ran in perfect conditions with 180 km over the alpine passes Gotthard, Furka and Grimsel. In Brienz the last discipline change took place. The running course on the marathon distance of 42.2 km leads via Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg. 

Fresh and familiar faces among the top men and women

Hans Christian Tungesvik from Norway has already continuously extended his lead on the bike course and reached Kleine Scheidegg at 16:22. At 17:23, Urs Müller from Switzerland has crossed the finish line, closely followed by Patrik Ericsson from Sweden at 17:46. For Flora Colledge it seems to go better with every Swissman. At 18:40, the Englishwoman was the first woman to reach the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg. Twenty minutes later, at 19:01, Elena Cavallascia followed, and at 19:34 Andrea Rösch. For both Swiss women the Swissman was a premiere.   Eight-time Swissman finisher Julia Nikolopoulos from Germany also didn’t miss this year’s Swissman, reaching Kleine Scheidegg at 20:05. 
By means of live tracking, suporters were able to check the course of the race of their athletes. For family members and friends who stayed at home, there was also the possibility to follow the swim exit in Ascona and the finish on Kleine Scheidegg via a livestream. 179 of the 213 athletes made it to the finish line, 156 of them men and 23 women.  

High emotions at a late hour

The fact that the Swissman is a triathlon without official timekeeping, where the shared experience and the extreme performance are in the spotlight, is particularly evident at a late hour in the finish area on Kleine Scheidegg. “You are not the Swissman crew, you are our Swissman family!” enthuses Fabio Pellegrini, who, along with his supporter, has traveled from Brazil with five other athletes. All finishers are loudly cheered, welcomed by the crew with ringing cowbells and open arms. The emotions rise with every hour that passes, finishers, supporters and crew are in each other’s arms, happy about their achievements and the adventure they have experienced together. 

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