Ironman Hawaii 2017

11th place overall and best German at Ironman Hawaii
There is a lot of coverage about the big dance and you might have followed my daily blog from Hawaii and remember the countless days waiting for my bike to arrive. Looking back on the race, I give you some more insights.

Kona is for sure the most important race in long-distance triathlon and the ultimate goal for every athlete. Everyone aims for lining up the start line in the best shape possible. Globally, there are only 40 slots for the professional females and even making it to the start line is a high achievement. In Germany we have many very good athletes and six German girls had the chance to show their best. Finishing best German professional for the second time was an honor. But as it is the world championships, the international comparison is much more important for me.
My swim was great! I could show the progression I had made through the year. When I got the first splits after the swim I was happy! I came out of the water in 23rd position and just 6.10 minutes down of the first big group of girls. This was much closer then in the years before.

On the bike, I was alone and paced myself mostly by feel. For quite a while I did not know whether I lose or gain time on the girls in front of me. It felt quite easy, the watts were ok, I overtook some girls and there was no strong cyclist approaching me from behind. Thus, I thought to myself: keep calm and carry on. This became my slogan of the day. The wind was not extraordinary for Kona, but once in a while I had to hold on to my bike quite firmly. After two hours I got the splits from my parents telling me I made up 2 minutes to the girls ahead. Being an athlete making up most of the time towards the end of the bike, this were excellent news! “Great, keep calm, take your Dextro gels and carry on!“, I told myself. At the turnaround I saw that I have had closed the gap further. Going down, I always lose time on the competition, no surprise it happened again this year. But once the decent was finished I restarted catching up. On the last 60 km, I increased the power and cycling back. Facing a headwind, I made up a lot of time on the girls ahead of me. With my IOS soles, I can put the power without losing any pressure right onto the pedal and my feet don’t start hurting towards the end of the race. I overtook one by one and bike into Top 10. With the 4th bike split of the day, I made my way from 23rd into 7th position. What a great achievement!
Now the marathon was waiting. „Run, cool your body and keep calm!”, I told myself over and over again. Struggling overheating in the last Kona, I promised myself to run very controlled till at least km 38. My run did not feel good. My body felt as being soaked with water and I was missing a good cadence and a nice flow. From the first km on, my pace was a bit slower as what I wanted to run and was trained for. Not a niche feeling, but I had to deal with it. At the turnaround point at km 8 I could see how the field behind looked like. There were some very fast runners quite close. Running in position 8 at this point of time I expected to lose my spot in the top 10 soon. However, it was a very hot day and none of the girls ran really fast. I could defend my spot in the top 10 till km 40.5! Coming down Palani I was overtaken by a girl. She came just flying past me I had not enough left to respond to this. Just missing out on the top 10 is a bit sad. But finishing 11th in the world championships is a great result for me.

Overall, I have done a lot of things right and I am proud on my race! At the finish line I had nothing left and I am sure I gave everything I had on that day. I am very grateful to have great parents, training partners, friends, partners and coaches on my side. I thought about them during the race and emotions were very present after the finish.