Torturous Norway triathlon won’t be couple’s last | Inquirer Sports

Torturous Norway triathlon won’t be couple’s last

/ 05:01 AM August 15, 2017

Halfway through the 180-kilometer bike leg of the recent Isklar Norseman Extreme Triathlon in Norway, Laarni Paredes saw a fellow female participant sitting on the sidewalk—crying, obviously in pain.

Paredes almost got off her bicycle to join the distressed triathlete because she also felt she couldn’t go on anymore. After all, it was no ordinary race.

The Norseman triathlon is an Ironman-distance race—226 kilometers—and held under extreme, tougher conditions.

A 4 km swim across the Hardangerfjord sea with water temperature as low as 11 degrees Celsius. A cycling leg of 180 km over five mountain passes, including a torturous 4.1 km ascent. Finally, a full marathon run to the top of the 1.9 km-high Mount Gaustatoppen.

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“I thought of my family, all the people who have been supporting me,” said Paredes, who was presented to the media by chief backer Herbalife on Monday at Makati Shangri-La hotel.

“I didn’t want to disappoint them so I continued. As long as I wasn’t on the verge of collapsing, I knew I’d be fine.”

The 38-year-old Paredes, whose husband Omar also completed last year in what is dubbed as the ultimate triathlon on the planet, finished with a time of 17 hours, 34 minutes and 57 seconds.

About 3,600 triathletes from 80 countries tried to make the final 250 list, which was determined by lottery. The Paredes couple was lucky enough to be picked right on their initial tries.

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There are no stops and breaks in the race, and being an unsupported non-Ironman branded triathlon, Norseman participants bring back-up crews to nourish them with food and drink along the route. The support crew also accompany the racers up the final mountain climb to provide help.

During the race, Paredes told herself it would be the last time she’d try such an extreme race.

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“But looking back, I think I can do it again,” said Paredes. “After surviving Norseman, I’ve become more confident.”

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TAGS: Triathlon

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