Eelephants, giraffes, zebras, water buffalo, also a cheetah, leopard and lion – Gesa Krause has now been able to admire them all. Finally safari! In the 19 high altitude training camps previously in Kenya, the world-class athlete only saw the running tracks and her hotel. “I’ve never been here for so long, that’s why I allowed myself to do it – just not just thinking about the intensive training, ”she says. For six weeks, the two-time World Cup third party over 3000 meters obstacle lays the foundations for the Olympic season and thus goes unusual ways in times of Corona.
“That was a very tricky decision, as there is a travel warning for Kenya in Germany. We wrestled with each other for a long time, but it’s about preparing for the Olympic year, and we couldn’t have agreed with our conscience not to have tried everything, ”said the 28-year-old from the Trier New Year’s Eve club of the German press agency (dpa).
When entering the country, Krause and her long-time trainer Wolfgang Heinig had to submit a corona test and clarify some formalities. After returning to Germany, the German record holder must first be in quarantine and have to present a test by the fifth day. It is not an official measure of the German Athletics Association (DLV), but Krause is not alone: The running aces Fabienne Königstein, Denise Krebs, Lisa Oed and the Austrian Nada Ina Pauer are there. Wattenscheider Amanal Petros had also prepared in Iten before breaking the German marathon record in Valencia on Sunday. “For the first time in many years, I have female training partners, that’s great fun,” said Krause. At Christmas she will be back in her house near Dillenburg.
In contrast to the dreary November in Germany, she sees a lot of green in Kenya. “I’m really, really happy to be here. The conditions are very good, ”said the two-time European champion and German record holder. “The situation in Germany is just depressing at the moment. But here in Kenya I live very carefree, far away from this daily corona reality, even if of course I follow the news. ”The project also has a“ certain mental recreational character ”.
People would wear masks on the streets and on public transport. “There is great caution because the conditions here are often poor. There are sinks everywhere, for example, or even water canisters and soap. “
After a very difficult summer, Krause “did it good to take a longer break,” said Heinig. At the German championships in Braunschweig in August, the series winner gave up her race surprisingly and completely exhausted. Then she first recharged herself on vacation in Greece and Italy – and then remembered her great passion again.
She was “incredibly motivated”, assured Krause, and her trainer also confirmed: The training was going “exceptionally well”. The weeks in Kenya are – except for the safari – no fun, the basic training is the toughest time of the year. “I feel fit, everything is fine. I do 13 units a week, on average between 140 and 150 kilometers. “
Krause now hopes “fervently” that an indoor season will somehow take place. And Olympia? Tokyo 2021 would be their third games after London 2012 (seventh) and Rio 2016 (sixth). “For me personally, the Olympics will take place next year – probably under very, very different circumstances. But that doesn’t mean that my motivation is less, ”said the two-time European champion. For her dream of her first Olympic medal, she toiled under the Kenyan sun. Iten should be back in January. For the 21st time.