Meet Tine Holst

A decade ago she couldn’t swim, bike or run. Now she’s an Ironman champion hoping for a big day in Cairns this weekend.

| June 9, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

When Denmark’s Tine Holst arrived at Club La Santa in Lanzarote, the sports mecca in the Canary Islands, she never even dreamed about being an endurance athlete. But it didn’t take long for her to become enthralled by the triathlon lifestyle that was on display virtually every day at Club La Santa, which not only hosts thousands of triathletes every year to train, it also organizes Ironman Lanzarote, considered amongst the toughest full-distance races on the planet.  

“I came to Lanzarote in 2005 as a physiotherapist,” she told us in an interview just before the 2017 Ironman Lanzarote race. “I saw all the crazy triathletes and said ‘I want to do that also.’”

Fast forward a decade and you’ll meet a woman who embodies the best of the sport. She’s a walking, talking role model for all the great things that our sport can provide. A spokesperson for Herbalife 24, she spends a lot of time spreading the word on the health benefits of the triathlon lifestyle. Even when people ask her about the demands of full-distance racing, she is quick to point out that, done right, no matter what the distance, the process can be good for you.

“I believe if you train right and you treat your body well with the right nutrition, the right way of training and the right attitude you can do this sport healthily,” she says.

That infectious positive attitude helped her achieve what was a fitting victory last year. Winning Ironman Lanzarote last year was like a dream come true for the 37-year-old. Especially when you consider she came out of the water 14 minutes behind super-swimmer Lucy Charles.

“I just believed in myself, then to get the biggest win of my career here last year at what is, for me, the hardest, the most honest and the most epic Ironman on the circuit is just amazing.”

Holst was back in Lanzarote this year. She felt she was in the best shape of her life and looked forward to trying to defend the title that meant so much to her. A flu bug knocked her out of the race, though.

Holst’s motto is “Don’t stop believing” and she truly walks that talk. Despite being sick on race day she gamely hung in through the bike and part of the run before finally conceding to the fact that she was sick. So that puts her on the start line in Cairns this weekend – hopefully all that awesome Lanzarote preparation will help her have a great day down under.

Listen to our pre-race interview with Tine Holst.