Maggie Rusch

Professional Triathlete

Norway, Day 1: Oslo to Stavanger

10513522_10202414979995210_9037847492735373503_n We have finally made it to Stavanger! I was hoping to share more in my lead up to Norseman and the great Norway trip but LIFE happened between Coeur d'Alene just over three weeks ago and today.

After an amazing day and win at CDA, I travelled home bright and early the next day, put in a few serious days at work, repainted my old apartment, Lucy and I and all of my stuff moved 1200 miles across half the country, started a new job at work while juggling the three positions on my old team we are still trying to fill, all while training for this epic beast of a race, Norseman. Along the way, I also got the BEST BIKE A GAL COULD ASK FOR with my new Blue (di2, basically obsessed) and had a mini-shopping spree or two to make sure my support crew and I have all the gear we need for the self-supported Norseman. Yeah, things have been a little insane.

Here's a quick summary and fun video about what I'll be rocking on course in Norway: Blue Bicycles, SmashFest Queen and some custom tees that my awesome support crew will be rocking:

http://instagram.com/p/qpPVs4wPu5/

I hope to share some of the details above - mostly about my AMAZING NEW BLUE [ed. note: that is currently missing, along with everything from my race kit to my toothbrush, somewhere between Dulles, Heathrow/London, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stavanger. I'm trying my best not to freak out] - in the next few days as we explore the country and also drive north through to Bergin and the Eidfjord later in the week for the race start.

The wheels arrive, my precious frame is still MIA somewhere between Dulles and Europe.

We flew into Oslo since it happened to be more convenient to where the point-to-point Norseman course ends up, but that means a more serious drive to both get to where we need to be, but also to play tourists in some of the Norwegian cities while here. We loaded up our rental car in Oslo (minus the missing bike frame) and drove the 300 miles over to Stavenger. In what we thought was a brilliant short-cut, we opted not to hug the Norwegian coast but instead take a route more inland. While it ended up being beautiful, what should have been a 4-5 hour drive ended up taking more like 6-7.

We wound around mountain passes and past raging waterfalls, bucolic farmland and past cross-country skiiers on roller skis pushing up the mountain. The OCD Sherpa was pushing the pace so the whole ride was like a speedy little rollercoaster. Jetlagged, I would nod off every few hours and then wake up and we'd be rocketing up another mountainside, through a tunnel (apparently Norwegians LOVE tunnels) or hugging another pristine lake or inlet.

We finally arrived in Stavanger last night, checked into our tiny hotel and went out to eat. We chose a place alongside the pier, where my dad ate Whale (sorry, baby Beluga), I had some sort of fish sandwich and the surly waiter "messed up" my mom's order so she got lutefisk instead of the other appetizer she had requested -- probably because it took him 30-minutes to deliver the wine and she kept trying to wave him down.

We're about to explore more now that the support crew has decided to wake up; it's noon — I was up at my regular old 6am start time, regardless of the jet lag and time change and ready to go! For kicks, here's the cruise ship currently parked outside our window, and blocking our view — what a BOAT!

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We have a few days here and then our journey continues!

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