“Bucket List” event in Norway highlights Scott Bradley’s return to triathlon competition

Contributed Story Posted 10 August 2022 at 12:40 pm

Contributed Photos – Lyndonville native Scott Bradley is shown here during the bike race portion of the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon he competed in this past weekend in Norway.

Competing in a most challenging event in Norway this past weekend highlighted Lyndonville native Scott Bradley’s return to Triathlon competition and fulfilled his “Bucket List” race.

The Covid-19 pandemic wiped out Scott’s 2020 triathlon season, but not his love of the sport and his training.

Scott continued to train throughout the year and into 2021 when competitions slowly began to resume. Competitions were limited so he targeted only two Ironman competitions for the year, his 7th and final year racing as a Male Pro, the Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Cozumel.

An Ironman is a 140.6 mile triathlon which includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile (marathon) run.

He returned to competing as an amateur Age Grouper in the 35-39 age group this year competing first in the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman and then in the very challenging Norseman Extreme Triathlon in Norway.

Bradley celebrates at the top of the Gaustatoppen mountain completing the grueling Norseman Xtreme Triathlon.

At the Ironman Lake Placid he swam a 57:32, biked a 4:54:05 (22.85 mph) and ran a 3:27:31. His final time of 9:26:54 placed him 15th out of the 31 Male Pros competing and 19th overall out of the 1768 participants in the race.

Ironman Cozumel had been Scott’s first race as a professional back in November of 2014. Having accepted racing at this level for 7 years, Scott decided that this Ironman Cozumel was going to be his final race as a professional before returning to race as an amateur Age Grouper starting in 2022.

Scott swam a current-aided time of 47:45 (a personal best swim time), biked a 4:27:20 (his average speed of 25.10 mph smashed his personal best even though he had to stop and walk his bike several times over the last 12 miles due to cramping) and ran 3:31:13. His final time of 8:51:17 (a personal best by over 5 minutes) placed him 26th out of 38 Male Pros and 73rd overall out of the 2330 participants in the race. Of note, the winner of the race, Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway who was competing in his first full triathlon, broke the world record time in a 140.6 with a time of 7:21:12!!

When the U.S. Triathlon Association (USAT) posted its final 2021 rankings, using Complete Rankings, Scott was ranked ranked 22nd in the 35-39 age group out of 3,764 competitors from around the U.S. who raced at least one race of any distance in the U.S. in 2021. In the 35-39 age group, Scott was ranked 1st in New York State (2nd among all triathletes residing in NY) and 1st in all of the Northeast (5th among all triathletes in the Northeast).

Scott returned to racing as an Age Grouper in the 35-39 Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Maryland in June.

An Ironman 70.3 includes a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile (half marathon) run.

Scott swam a personal best of 27:43. He then rode the fastest bike time of the day among all participants, including the Male Pros, with a time of 2:02:17. Running a 1:24:18 for the half marathon, Scott finished 1st in his Age Group (198 participants) by over 16 minutes with a finish time of 3:59:19. Overall he finished 13th out of the 2246 participants.

Having been selected as one of 12 Elite Male Athletes to compete in the 2020 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, Scott had to wait two years to fulfill this “Bucket List” race.

“The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is a non-Ironman branded triathlon, point to point, race held in Norway annually. The distances are equivalent to those of an Ironman race with the swim starting from the loading bay of a car ferry, through the water of the Hardanger fjord to the local town, Eidfjord. At Eidfjord the competitors transition onto their bikes and then cycle [112 miles] through the mountains, the first [24.85 mi] of which is uphill (reaching [3,937 feet] above sea level). After transition two (at Austbygdi, [623 feet] above sea level), the competitors then run [26.2 mi] of which the first [15.5 mi] (to Rjukan) are flat and following this they end up climbing the local mountain, Gaustatoppen, [6,168 ft] above sea level.” Wikipedia

Scott can now check the box next to this “Bucket List” entry.

The logistics of a race such as this greatly limits the field. This year 239 participants started the race. The 2.4 mile swim took place in 55F water!! Scott came out of the water in 21st place in a time of 1:03:06.

On the bike everyone was met with a temperature of 37F, rain and a strong wind when they reached the top of the first 24.85 mile climb to a plateau. The remainder of the bike was filled with descents and climbs that totaled 7,680 ft. Scott’s time of 5:50:06 on the bike was the 20th fastest time of the day.

Following the first 15 miles of “normal” topography on the 26.2 mile run, it was time to take a left turn and start the 11 mile, 5,850 foot climb to the top of Gaustatoppen. The final 4 miles were actually climbing a rocky trail to the summit. Scott’s time of 5:06:54 was the 41st best time of the day. At the top of the mountain he was greeted with a 36F temperature and significant winds.

Completing the day with a time of 12:09:07, Scott finished 23rd which placed him in the top 10% overall and was the top American finisher out of the 14 competing. Finishing in the top 160 earned Scott a coveted “Black T-shirt”!!! The day was brutal, but the feeling of crossing the finish line at the top of Gaustatoppen washed the pain away, though not instantly!!

Continuing to race a limited number of races each year in order to have better training blocks for each competition, Scott has only one race left on his schedule for 2022. He will be racing Ironman Arizona in November.

Scott is the High School Principal at North Rose-Wolcott High School.