Testing the limits: waves, wind and heat

The ninth edition of the SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon took place under challenging conditions despite bright blue skies. 230 athletes from 44 nations started the journey from the palm trees in Ascona to the eternal ice, 159 successfully reached the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg. Once again it was confirmed: No SWISSMAN is like the other. The triathlon was dominated by a Swiss and a Norwegian: Ramon Krebs and Nikoline Haugen coped best with the demanding course and the extreme conditions.

Waves, wind and heat are with athletes all day 

Punctually at 5.00 a.m. the starting bells rang on the Isola di Brissago in Lago Maggiore. Under clear skies, the 230 athletes set off on the 3.8 km swim course to Ascona. But the clear sky was deceptive. Waves and wind challenged the athletes on the swim course to the utmost. The reactions at the exit in the Bagno Pubblico in Ascona confirmed: Few expected such a demanding start. 

From there, the bike course covered 180 km over the Alpine passes Gotthard, Furka and Grimsel. The strong headwind remained a constant companion on the bike course. The challenge of the climbs was amplified by the force of the wind, the athletes fought with every pedal revolution against the unyielding conditions. In Brienz the last discipline change took place and with it the third test of the day: the heat. The marathon distance of 42.2 km led the athletes via Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg – in total, all finishers covered 5575 meters of altitude and 226 kilometers. The natural elements made the Swissman Xtreme Triathlon unexpectedly difficult, but the will of many athletes ultimately triumphed.

Three Swiss among the first men and women 

Waves, wind and heat cost the top about an hour, which is reflected in the arrival times on Kleine Scheidegg. Switzerland’s Ramon Krebs and Patrik Ericsson of Sweden engaged in an exciting showdown at times, with Krebs crossing the finish line at 17:44 and Ericsson following him six minutes later, at 17:50. Third finisher was Joël Jound of Switzerland, crossing the finish line at 18:05.   

The women’s performance was extremely strong this year. At 19:27, Norway’s Nikoline Haugen was the ninth person and first woman to cross the finish line on Kleine Scheidegg, followed just four minutes later at 19:31 by Sonja Tajsich from Austria, making her the tenth person to cross the finish line at Swissman 2023. The third female finisher again comes from Switzerland, Sandra Wolf reached Kleine Scheidegg at 20:04.  

 By means of live tracking, supporters 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. 159 of the 230 athletes made it to the finish line, 139 of them men and 20 women. 

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