ANJA BERANEK, NEW STEP FOR KONA
Sometimes, there's not much sleep for ironmen and -women: I had to wake up really early for the Mainova IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt. Quarter past three in the night I got up for breakfast and then took the IRONMAN athlete shuttle to the start of the swim course at Langener Waldsee.
After a few last preparations on my bike and at the transition zone, the race began at half past six. I had a good start, went quickly through the 3.8 km swim and left the water as 2nd woman.
I was 4 minutes behind the 1st place when I got on my bike. During the first 120 kilometers, I could reduce the gap down to 2 minutes – until I suddenly lost all of my power...
During the last 60 km on bike, I fought hard to maintain my position at least. Unfortunately, I got passed and reached T2 ranked third.
The real fight started with the marathon. Strong pains in my back interrupted my rhythm and soon every step felt like torture. I had to accept not being on the podium in Frankfurt.
Anyway, all the spectators and fans motivated me to give it everything: Despite the pain, I tried to manage the impossible! The last 4 hours of the race became an incredible mental and physical task – I refused to give up and crossed the long-awaited finish line as 8th woman.
With big races like IRONMAN, you never know what you get: There can't always be good days for a triathlete. But even though I had hoped for a better result, I'm eagerly looking ahead now!
I earned my ticket to Hawaii and am looking forward to October: Then I'll compete with the 30 best women in triathlon for the world championship title in Kona!
Thanks to the organisers and all participants for the race and congratulations to the three strong winners!