Jan Frodeno smashes the world record at Challenge Roth. We caught up with the fastest full-distance athlete ever at the finish line.
July 17, 2016 | NEWS|
It comes as no surprise to those of us who have been watching Jan Frodeno's career over the years that the German gold medalist was destined to do what he did today. In is first Ironman in Frankfurt two years ago he managed to spend 17 minutes on the side of the road dealing with flats. Then he spent most of the marathon running 2:36 pace. That was, except for the times he was stopped on the side of the course dealing with cramps.
Later that year he would debut third in Kona. A year ago he started an amazing string that included a 7:49 in brutally hot conditions in Frankfurt, then followed that up with his win in Kona.
Today he added another line to an incredible resume - the fastest time ever for the distance.
45:22 for the swim. 4:08:07 on the bike. 2:39:18 for the marathon. 7:35:39 all told, smashing the previous record held by Andreas Raelert (7:41:33).
"This was my sixth one and every time I forget how much it hurts when you have to go," he said at the finish line. "And when you’re chasing a phantom and you never know where he actually is, it was some of the most painful kilometers of my life. And pushing myself to the very limit was very challenging today."
Despite the strong field here today Frodeno was all alone - he finished 21 minutes up on runner-up Joe Skipper (GBR).
"I don’t mind being out there by myself," he said. "It’s the way I like to race. I believe Ironman is about being by yourself and I prefer going out by myself and perhaps paying the price for it than sitting in a bunch all day and running the fastest marathon. I love the honesty of Ironman and really, on a course like this, you’re never alone. I probably passed two or three thousand age groupers on the second lap. It’ an amazing course and you have people there all the time."
In addition to the big wins last year, the last 365 days have also seen Frodeno become a dad. ("If I look at the last 365 days – from Frankfurt onwards - it’s been a kick ass year.")
There is much still to do, though, for the defending Ironman 70.3 and Ironman world champ. He's going to take his time, though, before he starts gearing up for those races. In face, he might even pass on Mooloolaba, he says.
"This is the trouble with this kind of thing. This(a world-record effort) hurts you and it hurts you for a long time. It certainly doesn’t put me in a favorite role for Hawaii, because I do believe this takes a lot out of the tank and it’ll take me some time to recover, mentally as well as physically. That’s why it’s a bit risk going to 70.3 worlds as well, I’m not quite sure if I will or not. First thing I am going to do is go on holiday and I’ll tell you after."
While Frodeno has to acknowledge that there's no way he'll arrive on the Big Island without being the favorite, he feels it is going to be a tough ask to be ready to defend his title.
"The people who know about the sport know how hard something like this is and the toll it takes on your body. You can do an Ironman like I did in Lanzarote and you walk away and three or four days your back to training normal. But this kind of stuff hurts, that’s just the way it is."