World Cup race would be today
“The emotions have flattened out to protect themselves”: Jan Frodeno and his longing for the Ironman Hawaii
The fact that the legendary Ironman Hawaii has to be canceled this year also and above all affects the German triathlon stars around Jan Frodeno. The World Cup will return to the Pacific Island next October at the earliest.
This Saturday it would actually be that time again. Hawaii, the stroke of the cannon that started the ordeal of 3.86 kilometers of swimming, 180.2 kilometers of cycling and 42.2 kilometers of running. It should be over 30 degrees in Kailua-Kona, over 60 percent humidity, but only a rather slack wind.
“The feeling of having given everything, fully trained and in top shape to experience the emotions of the race. So far I have not been able to transfer that to any other race and that concerns me more than any ifs and buts,” says Jan Frodeno of the German press agency. But the three-time Ironman champion doesn’t have more than a wistful look at Hawaii.
Because, as in 2020, because of the corona pandemic, there will be nothing with cannon strike, with sweat, suffering and tears, happiness and pain in the triathlon Mecca. This year’s World Cup was initially postponed to the beginning of February 2022, but is now planned for the beginning of May next year. For the first time not at the place where it was founded, but in St. George in the US state of Utah.
Ironman Hawaii: return to the island in October 2022?
Five months later – if the pandemic allows it – the return to Hawaii will be celebrated in October 2022. “Let’s see – I hope to be able to experience Hawaii again as a professional,” says Frodeno. He is now 40 years old, compared to the distance of an Ironman over a total of 226 kilometers, he has slowly reached kilometer 200, “but I feel much better than after this distance in the competition.”
Frodeno doesn’t stop. Neither does Anne Haug, the defending champion for women. Instead of Hawaii, the 38-year-old will say Lanzarote on Saturday over half the distance. It should be a nice end to the season, she told the DPA.
Hawaii winner Haug: “I’m more motivated than ever”
It is not a replacement for the canceled World Cup. “I associate Hawaii with the World Cup, it is the place where I have to compete against the best in the world under the greatest pressure and under the most adverse external conditions one can imagine.”
Two years ago Haug became the first German woman to win the World Cup there. After the triumph in 2019, the hype about her person was of course extremely high. She almost overwhelmed the media attention – “and then Corona came. Everything was reduced from zero to 100.” That was a shock.
Haug also used the time to train. And maybe the pleasure had increased even further, she decided. “Two years without a World Cup gives it another special meaning, it’s almost like the Olympics. I’m more motivated than ever.”
Frodeno does not lack motivation problems either. Neither did the Hawaii champion of 2017 and 2018, Patrick Lange. The 35-year-old native of Hesse will start at the Challenge Budva in Montenegro this weekend.
With his sovereign victory at the Ironman Tulsa in May, he had already proven his strong form, and a few weeks ago he also won the long-distance classic in Roth. Quite a few had been looking forward to the tough duel in Hawaii.
Jan Frodeno: “I still dream of Hawaii”
Or a German fight among women, where Haug could get even more competition from Laura Philipp, already fourth at the 2019 World Cup. The 34-year-old from Heidelberg won the Ironman in Finland and Austria this year. The next German festival on the holiday island will not work again.
Instead, they all have to be patient and hope to survive the winter without complaints, accidents or injuries before at least the world championship race is ready seven months after the actual date. But it will take another year to return to the ultimate place of longing. “For self-protection, the emotions are somewhat flattened with the many cancellations,” says Frodeno: “But I still dream of Hawaii. Everything else is secondary.”