Three races, three adventures, three seasons. Welcome to the Arctic Triple. Set in Lofoten, an archipelago of islands in Norway’s Arctic Circle, this multidiscipline threesome of events includes skimo (ski mountaineering), ultra-running and triathlon. Do an event individually or nail all three within a year to earn yourself bragging rights of completing the Arctic Triple. (Oh and a bronze, silver and gold award, depending on which distance you choose.)
Tell you more? Oh, go on then.
Photo by Anders Balteskard
The Lofoten Skimo 4000
This new-in-2017 Arctic event is a gruelling mix of skiing and mountaineering (‘skimo’) that sees competitors cover 36km of marked track terrain and 4000m of elevation gain/loss. Think challenging high peak climbs and powdery ski descents amidst spectacular scenery. Cut-off time: 12 hours.
When: The 11th week of every year. This year’s inaugural event took place on March 18th.
Photo by Kai-Otto Melau
The Lofoten Ultra-trail run
Once the snow is long-gone, it’s all about the trail run; a choice of three distances which take you on winding and mountainous tracks through the Lofoten peaks with picturesque views of the Fjorde to keep you company. All races follow roughly the same direction, but only the shortest distance is fully marked. Warning: whichever distance you opt for, expect some serious elevation gain!
When: the 22nd week of every year. In 2017 it runs from Friday June 2 to Saturday June 3.
Choose your distance:
100 miles – Norway’s first ever 100-mile distance race is self-navigated (bring your map and GPS!) across the islands, on unmarked tracks (bar the last 20km) and includes a leg-crunching 7000+ metres of elevation gain/loss. Waaah!
50 miles – Get the authentic Viking experience with the 50-mile event, which starts at the cool Lofobr Viking Museum in Borg. Take in the undulating trails as you head to the finish – 4000+ metres of elevation included.
24k – Named the ‘mini’ ultra, you’ll start at the Island of Gimstoy before heading into the mountains. The entire track is marked and offers an elevation gain/loss of a respectable 1000+ metres.
Photo by Kai-Otto Melau
The Lofoten Triathlon
Last year’s Lofoten Triathlon was invite-only – this year the joy of completing is yours for the taking. Choose from the brutally tough Extreme and the slightly-more-than-Olympic-distance, Olympic+ triathlon.
When: 33rd week of every year. Friday 18 and Saturday 19 August 2017.
EXTREME – Fully supported throughout, the extreme distance begins with a 4km open-water swim in Svolvær harbour before moving on to the 196km bike around the islands. Last is the 45km run that sees a mix of road and trails as your route. Just for fun, the last 20km includes two mountain passes. Gulp.
OLYMPIC+ – Allowing you to enjoy (ahem) more of the scenery for longer, the Olympic+ includes a longer bike and run than your standard Olympic distance tri. The 1Km harbour swim is followed by a 50km tour of Henningsvær before the finishing run: a 12km route that includes an ascent of 541m above sea level over the Tjeldbergtinden mountain peak.
Interested? Visit www.thearctictriple.no and let me know how you get on.
I’d love to get a race review!