OUR man, British triathlete Chris Stirling, did CurraNZ proud in Norseman, one of the most grueling extreme triathlons on the planet, last weekend.
The original CurraNZ brand ambassador (pictured, in the race) was just one of 15 elite males invited to race in the prestigious event, and despite battling cramps in an ‘off day’, he finished a mighty 11th in a red-hot field of 238 competitors from 35 countries.
Considered the ‘Kona’ of the NXTRI extreme triathlon series, this year’s ‘exceptionally fast’ field negotiated a 3.8km fjord swim (diving off the back of a ferry!), 180km bike and 42.2km run with more than 5,000m of ascents over some of Norway’s most breathtaking and grueling landscapes.
Chris, who is based in Cumbria, was the second Brit home behind professional Ironman Harry Wiltshire (sixth), who has previously ranked amongst the world's top 25 triathletes and has the distinction of being the third fastest Brit to have raced at the World IronMan Championships, Kona, Hawaii.
Chris (left), said after the race: “With the cramping I was never going to have one of those amazing days, which is what I wanted after training all year for this race, but it was still awesome and I gave it everything.
“I could tell early on the bike, as I really started to struggle to hold power and had lots of cramp in my quads. I kept going though and got up to ninth place until the last 2km of the run where I was totally finished and lost two places.
“Although I wasn’t feeling my best, I still passed people on the road section on the run which isn’t my strength and I’m proud of that, having worked really hard on it in training.
“Given the quality of the athletes, I’m super happy and proud to have finished where I did in just over 11 hours – the Norwegians train specifically for the race, know the course and their times were just phenomenal.
“I’ve done a few extreme triathlons now, and Norseman is one that really strips you down throughout the day. Once you get into that 42.5km uphill run, there’s no recovery and no downhill to loosen off your legs. The last bit strips you down until you get to the point your legs are jelly trying to walk/run up the last bit of the mountain.
“I am completely ache-free now, and was back on my bike within three days. I’ll be back training next week, no problem. Normally you’d expect to be out of commission with DOMS for good week and not thinking about training for at least two to three weeks after a race like that.
“As always with CurraNZ, my recovery has been awesome.”