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Training for one of the most difficult events in the world

We previously reported that Islander James Marshall will be competing in the Norseman Extreme Triathlon and XTri World Championship in Norway on August 5.

Less than 300 people in the world have a starting slot in this Ironman-distance 140.6-mile race, considered to be one of the hardest in the world.

To train for the race — in addition to cold-water swimming in Gardiners Bay, trail-running in Mashomack Preserve and biking on the Island — Mr. Marshall recently completed some unorthodox challenges to practice the mental grit needed for Norseman’s chilly race conditions.

On March 11, he ran for 50 miles in cold rain to finish the Antelope Canyon Ultra in the red rock slot canyons and deep sand of northern Arizona. Running in sand at Menhaden Lane helped him prepare.

Then on April 15, he completed a 50-kilometer (31-mile) cross-country ski ultramarathon (Fossavatnsgangan) in the Westfjords region of northern Iceland. The race takes place on the snowy mountain cliffs that rise up from the ocean fjords below.

While he loves training on Shelter Island, he said, Iceland remains his proving ground on his endurance sports journey to Norseman. He completed his first ultramarathon there in 2019 (Laugavegur Ultra) and his first Ironman-distance extreme triathlon in 2021 (Ísland XTri).

But Norseman is more than an individual feat. Participants must bring their own support crew and vehicle for the 14-hour-plus race. It’s an Island affair for Marshall, who will be in the expert hands of husband, Adam Bundy, and personal trainer, and new Reporter fitness columnist Trent Firestine.

We’ll be watching and rooting for you on your August quest, James.