You qualified for the Ironman World Championchip in Hawaii two years ago. Due to the corona pandemic, the event has already been postponed once. What is the current standing?
Classes: After a long waiting period, the organizer received the information in mid-June that a further postponement is possible for us age group athletes. I will therefore only start on October 8, 2022.
What were the main reasons that you postponed participation to 2022?
Above all, the unclear travel conditions make planning almost impossible. For example, as a “non-professional athlete”, you cannot currently get an entry visa. In addition, the infrastructure in Hawaii is currently barely available to hold a worthy World Cup.
By winning your age group 55 at the Ironman in Vichy, France in 2019, you qualified for Hawaii and fulfilled a lifelong dream. Tell us about this great moment.
The feeling was absolutely overwhelming and still resonates. The memories of the emotions on the last kilometers of the running route and then when turning onto the finish line remain unforgettable and still trigger indescribable feelings of happiness today. At the moment, that’s a big part of my motivation.
How do you manage to prepare for such a major event over such a long period of time?
I admit that it is not easy to keep motivation high all the time. First there is a deep satisfaction with the qualification achieved and the thought that the actual participation in Hawaii is the icing on the cake. Nevertheless, I would of course like to be perfectly prepared for the start. This means that a certain basic level must be maintained in training. I also hope that one or two triathlon competitions will be possible over the course of the summer. I always have my big goal in mind. And that’s what drives me!
How are your preparations going? In what condition are you currently?
In addition to the above-mentioned basic training in all three sports, there is the essential aspect of training them in combination. For example, last week I simulated my own competition at the Aggertalsperre to train the transitions from swimming to cycling and from cycling to running. Overall, I am very happy with my condition and in good shape.
Does the psyche also play a role in preparation when you have to wait so long for a big dream?
In any case. We triathletes are mentally well trained because we are always faced with challenges in competitions, as we never know what can happen in three consecutive sports. I see the whole situation relatively calmly and keep my motivation and anticipation high.
As the trainer of the Leichtathletikgemeinschaft (LG) Gummersbach, how do you assess the current situation for runners?
We have been looking forward to the opening of our stadium for a long time and are pleased that it is currently possible to train there. I created training plans online all winter long and was happy to have most of them fit and healthy back in the stadium. What is still missing now are real competitions.
How do you intend to use the further year of waiting until the Ironman?
As already mentioned, I want to keep the training schedule. Half of the Ironman on August 29th in Duisburg is an intermediate goal. I hope the event can take place as planned. So far there has been no rejection.
Then what goal do you want to achieve at the Ironman next year?
It is an extraordinary competition under extreme conditions: 3.8 kilometers of swimming in the open sea, 180 kilometers of cycling through wind-prone lava fields and the final marathon at high temperatures. I cannot and do not want to set myself a more precise goal, such as reaching a certain time, under such conditions. My ultimate goal is to cross the finish line in good health. Everything else will be seen.