Winning the German Junior Triathlon Championship & Qualification for the World Junior Triathlon Championship

So after three weeks in my Internship at ATASS Sports – a statistics company looking at Sports data – it was time for the German Championships! I took the Friday off work and headed home to London straight after work on Thursday – and then after just 5.5h at home, it was time to head off to Germany (at 4am!). After a long day in the car me and my dad arrived in the Black Forest in the evening and basically fell straight to sleep.

The next day was spent looking at the course and relaxing. In the evening the entire Bavarian team was sitting in front of an iPad watching the WTS Hamburg ;)

And then it was race day – I’ve been waiting and training for this day for such a long time that it never really got into my head that the day was finally here! The course promised to be beautiful – and above all tough! That got me even more excited about the race! And when I heard about the first and third place from Pirmin Frey and Annabell Knoll from my Tri Club in the youth race, I was super happy for them and knew that it was my turn to show the purpose of all those tough training sessions that no one sees!

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The swim was just going for it – I wanted to make sure to be in the first pack out of the water, to not allow what happened in Halle to happen again! And it worked! After the last buoy I found myself with the front girls and then even managed to swim past them and into the lead! I exited the water with another girl that I managed to run away from on the way to transition.

And then it was time for the climb! I found myself with Anna Wagenknecht at the start of the hill and we were slowly riding away from the other girls! So I just said to her that we should just work together and we will keep riding even further away! And so we did! On the second (of two) laps I then just kept a good rhythm up the hill and when I turned around she was a few metres behind me! So I just kept cycling and rode further and further away from her until I couldn’t even see her anymore! I loved it! The climb was so beautiful and I was feeling good and strong!

Going down the hill again then, I just thought to myself: “Just don’t crash and then there’s only running to go – and I know I can run!”. I went through transition with almost a minute advantage to the other girls and it was such a cool experience to be running behind the lead cycle on my own (my very first time doing that :P). The other Bavarians were so amazing in cheering me on – it made me run even faster, even though I knew after the first lap that I the victory was in my hands! The last lap was just pure enjoyment – legs were hurting but there were so many people cheering, so many high fives to give and then I even ran down the home straight with a Bavarian flag. I still don’t think I have grasped what happened! I even posted an almost 30s faster time than the Youth A – who usually beat the Juniors! I had so many hopes for today – but I think I can say that all this just tops everything I dared to dream!

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The win also means that I qualified for the World Triathlon Championships in London this September! That means racing at home, being able to invite all my friends to come watch me and above all racing the Olympic Course! That is definitely going to take some time to sink in!

So to put it in a few words: I couldn’t be happier with how today went! It feels like every single hour of training has paid off. But I also know that I couldn’t have done it on my own! A MASSIVE thank you to my coach – Roland Knoll – who seems to always have an open ear when I need him even though he’s in Germany! And who’s taught me so much in the past year – I am so much more of an athlete than I could have dreamt of being just a year ago! But also obviously a massive thank you to all my friends and family who support me in so many ways every single day and make the hardest times that little bit easier!

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum