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Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden
Premiere at the Raunheimer Waldsee
From 8.10 o’clock start on Sunday (9.) at the Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden the age groups. Then Bjorn Willems will also jump into the water and plow through the lake. The forty-one-year-old has already gained experience as a helper. Now he swims, rides and runs at the Ironman himself.
By Rudiger Koslowski
From 8.10 o’clock start on Sunday (9.) at the Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden the age groups. Then Bjorn Willems will also jump into the water and plow his way through the lake. The forty-one-year-old has already gained experience as a helper. Now he swims, rides and runs in the Ironman himself.
Willems is married and the father of a son; this is the first time he has taken part in an Ironman race. For his debut, he deliberately chose the Wiesbaden triathlon, after all, the start is in his hometown at the Raunheimer Waldsee lake.
The 1.9-kilometer swim course, the 90-kilometer bike route through the Taunus region and the 21.1-kilometer run are right on his doorstep, and he saves himself the journey. As a local he knows the Waldsee from the inside out, he has already ridden the entire bike course once. "Wow," was his reaction to the challenging course. He has also already looked at the running course.
His plans to take part in the Wiesbaden Triathlon, which is also the European Championship, go back three years already. ,"My friend Jurgen Wies, who is a triathlete himself, infected me.", says Willems. This gave rise to the idea of taking part in the Wiesbaden competition of the iron athletes.
In his youth he was a track and field athlete
Long distances are not unknown to Bjorn Willems. He has already run the ten-kilometer distance, the half marathon and marathon. He was a track and field athlete in his youth, but then withdrew from the sport for a few years before getting back into it. Last year he joined the triathlon department of Turngemeinde Russelsheim. So while running was nothing new for Bjorn Willems, he was new to cycling and swimming. In addition he bought himself immediately a special Triathlon bicycle. "Riding a bike is easier than swimming," he now learned during training. For more than three years he has been training the discipline of crawling, and for two years he has been training cycling.
He learned to crawl with the Masters group, the swimming for adults of the swimming department of the Sport and Singers Association. At the beginning Bjorn Willems did not even manage half a lane. "Breathing technique is the most important thing, but strength is also part of it," he explains. Half a year later he already covered 500 meters in a passable time. So correctly the water is not however today yet its friend.
It would not be difficult to train the three disciplines. The challenge is rather to convert them in the competition one after the other. He already has a specific time for the finish in mind, but doesn’t want to name it. "I don’t want to put myself under unnecessary pressure," he apologizes. Shortly thereafter, however, he does give himself a break. "If I can realize about six and a half hours, that would be great," he states his desire.
He takes this opportunity to thank his wife Sabine and his eleven-year-old son Mika, who helped him with the preparations. After all, he trained for up to ten hours a week, and his family gave him the freedom to do so. His wife wants to meet him at the finish line in Wiesbaden. Then it is surely still celebrated. But on Monday, it’s back to business as usual for him at his workplace at Frankfurt Airport.
Hopefully it stays at the start at the lake
By the way, he hopes that the Ironman will continue to be started at Lake Waldsee in the future. Already as a helper he was fascinated by the event and by the international athletes who were very open-minded and sociable. The athletes would have always thanked the helpers very nicely during his two assignments. "Thank you for being there," many would have shouted to him.
In his opinion the triathlon fits well to Raunheim. "The Ironman won’t make Raunheim rich, but it will make it sexy," Willems says with a smile, alluding to the words of Mayor Thomas Juhe. Juhe recently said that the expected advertising effect of the sporting event had not materialized. He said this was more likely to be achieved with the cable-stayed bridge and the new Airport Garden business park.