Swiss triumph at the 10-year anniversary

With a touch of drama, the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon celebrated its tenth anniversary. Accompanied by challenging weather conditions, the SWISSMAN course leads from Brissago Island to Kleine Scheidegg. 238 athletes, including 27 women and 150 men, took on the monumental challenge. 177 athletes reached the finish line, an achievement that reflects courage, endurance and willpower. On the Kleine Scheidegg, there was a Swiss double triumph: 12 hours and 19 minutes after the start in Ticino, Christophe Martignier was the first man to reach the finish line, while Andrea Rösch was the first woman to complete the SWISSMAN.

An unparalleled thrill: Weather ensures excitement

Waiting for the starting signal for the tenth SWISSMAN was not for the faint-hearted. In the days leading up to the SWISSMAN, the snow fell in such huge quantities that it was unclear until the evening before whether the legendary cycle route over the Gotthard, Furka and Grimsel would be passableThe redemptive news came late on Friday evening: all passes are definitely open. The weather also meant well for the time being, but this was to change in the course of the day. 

Heavy rainfall clears the sky 

Ticino showed its wildest side on Friday. It poured down like buckets on the Bagno Pubblico in Ascona while the participants were preparing for the big day at check-in. However, the heavy rainfall managed to clear the skies and the participants started their journey through Switzerland at 5 a.m. on Saturday under a full moon and clear skies. The swim from the Brissago Islands to Ascona, meanwhile, gave a foretaste of the challenging weather conditions that would accompany the athletes throughout the day. Cold, wind and light swell made the 3.8 kilometers a real challenge. 

A day packed with extremes 

What began as a perfect day turned into a merciless battle against the elements from the Grimsel at the latest. In the afternoon, long after the top of the course had been reached, threatening clouds gathered. The Alpine passes were hit by rain, hail and snow. Cars had to stop driving at times, but the athletes battled on relentlessly. While the front runners largely left the weather fronts behind them, many in the second half of the field were hit hard by the difficult conditions. The rain poured down relentlessly, but many of the intrepid athletes were not deterred. 

Despite the challenging conditions, 177 of the 238 athletes who started reached the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg. The weather showed its forgiving side and athletes, supporters and crew celebrated the tenth edition of the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon in front of the partly sunlit panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. 

Triumph in the Alps: Swiss successes  

Switzerland’s Christophe Martignier overtook Sweden’s Patrick Ericsson in the final kilometers of the run, after the latter had been in the lead for most of the day. The two reached the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg with a 15-minute difference: Christophe Martignier at 17:19, Patrick Ericsson at 17:34. The third man to cross the finish line was Maximilian Kirmeier from Germany at 17:52  

Two Swiss women even made it into the top three in the women’s race. Andrea Rösch from Switzerland was the first woman to cross the finish line at 19:02. Hot on her heels: Cindy Friebel from Germany (19:09). Around an hour later, at 20:07, Michela Segalada, also from Switzerland.   

An emotional finale

The anniversary of Julia Nikolopoulos from Germany, who successfully completed the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon for the tenth time, was particularly touching. Her arrival on Kleine Scheidegg at 21:16 impressively demonstrated her dedication and perseverance, which make the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon so special.

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