Ahead of this weekend’s CHALLENGEKAISERWINKL-WALCHSEE, we had the chance to interview one of this year’s participants, Anna Weinhardt, 28-year-old, from Hungary, working full-time and president of the local club. We talked about why she started triathlon, what she likes about the sport, motivation, what she looks the most forward to and of course her goals for the race.
Anna Weinhardt: “My family has always been very sporty. My family and my father were doing triathlons and I started as a supporter. I was so amazed that all these ‘normal’ people were there and they were just capable of doing this huge thing and crossing the finish line. So, I thought why not try it myself?
I started with the Olympic Distance, and afterwards I thought I am never going to do a Middle Distance or even a Long Distance. For me running is not my strongest part, as my background is in swimming. I just couldn’t imagine doing a half or full marathon after the bike. But, after four years I did my first Middle Distance triathlon, and I liked it, I was good at it! In 2020, I did my first Long Distance, which was in Tallinn and I came first in my Age Group with a time of 9:46hr. A time everyone dreams about I think, this sub10-mark. It works like a motivator for everyone at my club: they want to beat my time, which is amazing.
It is this experience of discovering and figuring out your limits that makes it so amazing to do. Since I started 6 years ago, it just became something that is part of my life, this triathlon thing, so I don’t really have to motivate myself every day. It came with my life. After work I check my Training Peaks, put on my running shoes and go, it is just obvious. I do always have a goal, a race I want to be really good at or to beat my time. I have special memories of CHALLENGEKAISWERWINKL-WALCHSEE. Back in 2018, when I raced there, at the time my personal best, it was also my first international success so to say. I finished on the podium and qualified for CHALLENGEFAMILY THECHAMPIONSHIP, quite a milestone for me.
Ever since I did not manage yet to beat my running time on the half distance. So, my aim is to definitely beat my time once, which is almost addictive. It should definitely start with 4.4…. Although I am a little bit cautious, because in 2018 CHALLENGEKAISERWINKL-WALCHSEE was organised in September and it was 15 degrees, which is a perfect temperature for me, so we will see what happens in July. Either way it is just a magnificent place to race: especially the bike course is really special. Because of the narrow streets, the hills, everything is green and the cows: it’s just like a wonderland, very unique.
One of the things that makes triathlon such an amazing sport is racing in different places. On top of that, you can start at any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or a veteran. Nobody is going to think you are crazy. It is just a family-like feeling, everyone likes each other, and is interested in each other’s results. Every time you go to a race and complete strangers start talking to you. Everyone can find something within triathlon. There are lots of distances, everyone can what they happiest with. Just crossing the finish line is so magical, you want to do it again and again, it is addictive!”