I do a lot of races…a lot. It is rare that I go to a race and have my expectations not just exceeded but blown out of the water. I am not exaggerating in saying the 70.3 Norway was the best half ironman I have ever done including Rev3 events and 70.3 worlds.
Here is why:
1.) The crowds were amazing. All along the bike and run, there were spectators all along the course. We ran past the finish stadium 5 times during the run and each time the cheering was amazing. No other 70.3 has that vibe not even close!
2.) It was the most well organized half ironman I have ever done. If I don’t know better I would never have thought it was a first year event.
3.) Norway is a beautiful country and the course design was amazing. The swim was in a lake followed by an amazing bike around the hills and lakes. The bike was so scenic that I had to refocus myself instead of looking around at the views. The run was also great and running through the downtown streets by the finish line created so much energy.
4.) The organizers did their best to ensure that all the pro triathletes had hotel room and offered great events such as a pasta party, scenic boat tour, video on the region, tour of the course, airport transfers, all for free to us pros. It is nice to have organizers doing what they can to help make the pros trip as easy, seamless, and enjoyable as possible.
5.) The course markings were amazing. I was a bit concerned as I didn’t see the course ahead of time, and don’t speak Norwegian. But despite being a first year race, the organizers were on top of the course and virtually made it impossible to take a wrong turn on the bike or run.
6.) The race hotel, the Rica Martim, was perfect. It was right downtown only a block from the finish line. Only about 2K from the start and provided a free bus to the start in the morning. In addition, the free breakfast was delicious and race morning they started it early so that all the athletes could eat before the race.
7.) The race start was 8am! How great is that!
8.) I got more delicious Norwegian chocolate! Between that and the Swiss chocolate, I will never be able to eat the American crap again.
Thanks so much the the Norway 70.3 team, the amazing crowds, the great competitors, and volunteers. I hope you all had as great a time as I did. I can’t wait to go back next year!