Wintertriathlon is the lesser known version of triathlon on snow. Oslo's local club Royal with its leading member Kåre Grøtta took the initiative and kept the sport going in Norway, but over the past few years World Triathlon and the Norwegian Triathlon Associaiton with multiple sports clubs have committed more and more to the sport. A few years ago Bergen Triatlon Events decided to start the process of hosting a World Cup in Bergen in the summer and arrange the World Championships in Wintertriathlon in 2023 and 2025.
Gjøvik's athlete Marthe Katrine Myhre has World Championship gold in winter triathlon U-23 alongside a long series of National Championship gold in the marathon and strong results in cross-country skiing. She has given us a good introduction to what she believes is the essence of winter sports' most varied discipline.
« Winter triathlon is a unique sport. Norway has had proud traditions with several strong achievements both at home and abroad for a number of years.
The sport is big down in Europe and in the East. Different countries give this sport a high priority and always bring along a big squad and a good service-department.
Winter triathlon consists of running, cycling and cross-country skiing. All disciplines are completed on ski slopes and often in relatively short laps. This makes the sport very public friendly.
It is an advantage to be fit, have strength and fitness, as well as some technique. But the sport is so complex that several different people can assert themselves. Often there are some who are very good in one branch and flow through it.
Cross-country skiers have generally proven themselves well, but so have those who are good at cycling. They have a unique technique in the cycling section and often make up a lot of time on those stretches.
The competition starts with a running part. This is carried out on the ski slope and here you can encounter varying conditions. It is a big advantage to have shoes adapted to the surface. Grip is often a good choice. At the same time, you should think about a solution that makes it easy to put on and take off the shoes.
After a transition part where the equipment is required to be placed in a given place according to your own start number, you are ready for cycling.
Before you can start on this stretch, the chin-strap of the bicycle helmet must be closed, the equipment you used during the running must be in place. Remember here, that you will use the equipment later in the competition.
The cycle route is also on the ski trail. Sometimes there are solid and fast conditions, but there can also be very loose tracks. An ordinary mountain bike with relatively wide tires is used here. Air pressure is a good thing to think about. Loose conditions require less air and a larger bearing surface than hard ones.
I have seen several driven triathletes keep their running shoes on in challenging conditions. Often easier to run with running shoes than cycling shoes.
In the changing zone, it is not allowed to untie the strap on the bicycle helmet until the bicycle has been placed in your own place. If you break any rules, you will receive a time penalty. Therefore, it may be a good idea to read through the rules and practice beforehand. There is a lot of time to make up during efficient shifts.
A new stretch after cycling is cross-country skiing. Again, it is recommended to have a light solution on the ski boots to get them on and off quickly. You don't have time to tie shoelaces and bother with thick mittens etc. Think carefully about the choice of both equipment and clothes.
The cross-country section also takes place on the same tracks as the run and bike. The style is freestyle and this stretch favors those who have skied a bit. After completing your kilometers on skis, it is ready to complete all three branches for one more round.
Winter triathlon is great fun. Everyone can participate and everyone can assert themselves. The competitions often use to vary the order of the participants along the way. This makes it very open until the end.
Does this sound exciting? Join! Test your own skills and take the chance. This suits everyone, regardless of background.
Start already now by practicing, finding the equipment and experimenting with your transitions and tracks. You will quickly find out what suits you and how you want to do it.
The sport is growing and work is being done to get the sport into the Winter Olympics.
Join us, and we'll see you in Skei. »
Greetings from Marthe Katrine Myhre