Through pain and nature, this is how extreme triathlon feels in Slovakia
Terchová, 4. 9. 2017 – Last weekend on 1-st to 3-rd September JÁNOŠÍK – Slovak Xtreme Triathlon took place at the picturesque regions of northern Slovakia. Its second edition was special due to heroic performances, challenging weather conditions and a great fair play gesture. Moreover, the race has recently befriended Xtri World Tour, associating prestigious extreme triathlons with worldwide reputation such as Norseman, Swissman and Celtman.
JÁNOŠÍK is a challenging and beautiful journey with 5600 m elevation through the most beautiful parts of Slovakia not only for the athlete but also for his supporter and his team. This year 47 athletes, including 3 women, from 8 countries competed of which 41 finished the race.
The race started at midnight with 3,8 km swimming in Orava Dam. Every swimmer was equipped by a lightning buoy, forming a lightning snake on the water surface. The fastest swimmer Jan Francke (CZE) left T1 in 55 min. The cycling course of 180 km with 2600 m elevation tested the attention and the perseverance of the athletes since the night was dark and rainy and the road was slippery. The latter winner Tibor Szabó (SVK) made his move during the bike course taking him 6:38 h. and kept the leading position until the finish. Early in the morning the athletes transitioned to running course under the statue of Slovak national hero Jánošík at Terchová. The marathon with 3000 m elevation took them through Malá Fatra National Park to the finish at the top of Chleb. It was completed in 6:28 h. by the fastest runner Francke. Finally, the winner Tibor Szabó (SVK) crossed the finish line at race record 14:46:27, followed by Petr Míl (CZE), who completed the first triathlon in his life and by Jan Francke (CZE). The three women racers performed extraordinarily, above all the winner Kristýna Skupieňová (CZE) completed the race in 17:13:36, which means 14-th place in overall standings. She was followed by Alexandra Mitschke (GER) and Sandra Pytlíková (CZE). After the whole day the athletes finally sat down for hot dinner and the funicular took them back to Vrátna valley. On Sunday the winners were awarded “valaška” a traditional poleaxe used back then also by Jánošík and finisher and supporter T-shirts were handed out, as usual during the Xtri World Tour races.
The weather in Malá Fatra mountains is unpredictable, the pleasant cloudy skies during the first 30 kms of running course changed into thick fog on the mountain ridge. Fortunately, all the athletes found the right way to the finish line. It was also thanks to their supporters, who played crucial role during the whole race and they accompanied the finishers during the marathon.
In addition to all singularities of this year`s JÁNOŠÍK a great gesture of fair play was shown by Polish athlete Zbigniew Mossoczy. He crossed the finish line first on Saturday. Everybody there at the top of Chleb was privileged and moved by his big, back then, victory and race record. Zbigniew, full of emotions after the race talked to other athletes and analyzing his race he realized that on bike he missed a hard 17% climb from Mútne to Novoť, he took different road. It happened unintentionally but gave him a bit of advantage. Later at night Zbigniew confessed his mistake to the race director, he told he wanted to be a true athlete, to play fair. Zbigniew was disqualified but the organizers decided to award him a special fair play prize for his great gesture of resolution, humility and fairness. He reaped a huge unceasing applause during the final ceremony, it was a moving moment of tears of happiness and lot of emotions.
The spirit and philosophy of the Xtreme World Tour races is to race fair, to deserve the finisher title after completing a very hard race, to live a true friendship between the racer and his support team, and to feel the family atmosphere of organizers. JÁNOŠÍK – Slovak Xtreme Triathlon 2017 met all these criteria. The organizers hope that for next years the race, emotions and experiences will keep growing this positively.
JÁNOŠÍK – Slovak Xtreme Triathlon forms part of Oravaman Extreme Tour (OET), a trilogy of extreme triathlons along with Goralman and Volkswagen Slovakia Oravaman.