XTERRA Nordic Interviews Øivind Bjerkseth Ahead of XTERRA Duathlon Rebild European Championship


You might have experienced his skills at XTERRA Duathlon Gribskov 2018 where the single tracks were covered in deep snow and he came across the finish line way ahead of his competitors. It was the Norwegian Øivind Bjerkseth and he will also take up the fight at the XTERRA Duathlon Rebild European Championship. Øivind actually started his XTERRA adventure with the XTERRA Duathlon Series here in Denmark.

We have asked some questions to Øivind ahead of this weekend’s race. Read more about the viking Øivind, his challenges and ambitions in Rebild this weekend and more long-term, and get his top 3 advices for people considering doing their first XTERRA.

Meet Øivind Bjerkseth

I’m 29 years old. Lives outside of Oslo in Norway and works as an accountant.

Øivind came across his first XTERRA in Denmark

As most kids I did a lot of sports as a kid. And my running was quite good. So after some years as a mountainbiker i tried a couple of  road duathlons. Eventually someone told me about those XTERRA duathlons in Denmark. So I went down to Denmark and it was so much fun. So after some years of doing duathlons I watched the XTERRA World Championship 2016 live on YouTube and realized I have to learn to swim and start doing offroad triathlons.

Expect to see Øivind benefit from improvements made this winter

My training has been good this winter. I have improved my running a lot this winter after getting some push on the intervals each thursday with som good friends on the indoor track in Oslo. So i’m confident that my fitness level is on point. However, winter has really had a tight grip on Norway this year. So it’s been 6 months since the last time I rode my mountainbike on trails not covered in snow. So you can say I was a bit disappointed to see 10-15 cm of snow when I arrived in Denmark for the XTERRA Gribskov. Hopefully I can get the feel for the mountainbike when I test the course in Rebild the day before.

XTERRA Duathlon Gribskov
Øivind Bjerkseth leads through tough conditions at XTERRA Nordic Duathlon Gribskov

Going for the double duathlon title in XTERRA and ETU (European Triathlon Union)

My main goals this year is going for the double duathlon title (both XTERRA and ETU). And I am targeting the XTERRA Graveman in the French alps as well. Long term I really want to win the Winter Triathlon World Championship. And of course improve my swimming so I can race the big guns on the XTERRA circuit and not have to chase back 5-6-7 minutes after the swim. It’s going to be tough, but it helps on the motivation to have some big goals to reach for.

XTERRA and its lifestyle makes good memories

Travelling the world and discover new places is a real treat to me. That’s what makes the good memories . And the atmosphere is so relax and nice. Everyone shows up to race as fast as they can, but still they are there just as much to enjoy the moments before and after the race and has always time for a quick chat. And i must also say that the courses are really fun. It’s always a good flow and nice views on the course that leaves a big smile on your face even on the pre-ride before the race.

Øivind is ready to race and is looking forward to some tight racing

I am really looking forward to a great race. Hopefully there will be some tight racing. And if they want to beat me the first run is where to open up the gap. Because when I can smell the victory on the second run I dig really deep to maintain that lead I hope to get on the mountainbike.

Read 3 good advices from Øivind to beginners coming into XTERRA

1st advice: I really like the saying “Mother Nature is your only competitor”. It’s not about winning, but overcoming yourself and the challenges given to you that day. It’s good to have a goal you want to achieve. It’s what gets you up in the morning. But remember to enjoy the experience and don’t focus solely on the numbers on the result list.

2nd advice: In terms of racing as fast as you could I think it is important to get some good training buddies. It’s so much easier to push your limits when there are other people around you. Both in terms of nailing that last time up the hill on your interval session and doing those technical sections on the mountainbike.

3rd advice: And don’t forget to swim a lot. Being comfortable in the water and not have to fight for air through the entire swim make the two other legs so much more enjoyable.

XTERRA Nordic Duathlon
Photo – XTERRA Nordic


Øivind hopes to see as many people as possible in Rebild. We are happy to hear about his recommendations of XTERRA and look forward to fulfil them once again this weekend. Come and race against Øivind and experience all the things he is talking about. As always – XTERRA is for everyone – both the elite and beginners.

Remember to follow along on Facebook here for XTERRA Nordic in generel, og on the Facebook-event here, where we will keep you updated before, during and after the event.




Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 18 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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