It was supposed to be the A-race of pro athlete Verena Walter: the inaugural IRONMAN Hamburg on August 13, a long-distance triathlon covering the classic distances (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42.195 km run).
But already three weeks before the gun went off, the winner of 2017 Challenge Taiwan and Bonn Triathlon was laboring with injury: “My foot was hurt and I had to pause with running, it was long unclear if I would be able to start in Hamburg“, recounts Verena Walter who at least continued her swim- and bike training as if everything was alright.
Luckily she recovered from her injury in time so that she was at the starting line in Hamburg at 6:40 am to start the race with two laps of swimming in the Alster: “The water was surprisingly cold an I was lucky that I didn’t get a cramp“, the pro athlete says who exited the water despite a little detour – she swam around the fountain in the middle of the Binnenalster on the right-hand side instead of the left-hand side – after almost exactly one hour.
After the swim, two 90 km laps on STEVENS Super Trofeo through the surroundings of Hamburg were on the race program. A course with approximately 1,000 vertical meters that was quite hilly – not only from a Northern German point of view. The bike leg got even more difficult as the wind grew stronger and stronger.
When Verena Walter slipped on her running shoes after 5:19:04 hours on the bike, she started into the first of all in all four marathon laps alongside the Alster at her usual marathon pace. “Already before the end of the second lap my upper legs suddenly denied service. I’d never experienced this in such intensity so far“, Verena Walter said after the race.
She continued with reduced speed, but had to let go of her third place and finished fifth. “Despite I cried bitter tears I also was a little proud that I’d finished. My marathon time was 3:24:29 hours – not bad considering the circumstances“, the athlete summons who took advantage of her stay in Hamburg to visit the headquarters of STEVENS.