“It’s a bit of a closing circle for me. Hamburg has given me an awful lot,” said Frodeno on Saturday in the NDR interview: “I’m just happy to see this city with my newfound passion, triathlon, the Ironman to discover.”
Between 2004 and 2013, Frodeno competed in the Olympic and sprint distance competitions. “It was always a really, really bad atmosphere. It was the first time that triathlon had a bit of world sport level,” said the 2008 Olympic champion.
In his last race over the short distance, he became world champion in the mixed relay ten years ago in Hamburg. “These are of course special memories, and that’s why it’s a nice step for me to come here again.”
Frodeno with a difficult past year
Now he is in his last professional season. This year’s Ironman in the Hanseatic city is his first long-distance race of 3.8 kilometers swimming, 180 kilometers cycling and 42.195 kilometers running since his world record appearance at the Tri Battle Royale on July 18, 2021 against Canadian Lionel Sanders. At that time Frodeno needed 7:27:53 hours for the route in Bühl am Alpsee.
In 2022, injuries, operations and illnesses caused a long forced break. He made his comeback at the beginning of May in Ibiza over 2 kilometers of swimming, 80.2 kilometers of cycling and 17.8 kilometers of running. He finished fourth.
“It’s been on the injury bench for a long time.”
Triathlete Jan Frodeno
“I have to be realistic and see the signs because it’s been on the injury bench for a long time,” said the three-time European champion. The primary goal is “to get through well and to build on top performances in running and on the bike,” he said. “And then we’ll see what it’s enough for.” His goal for the season is the Ironman World Championships in September, which will be held in Nice instead of the classic in Hawaii. At the end of the year it will be over for him.
In the preparation everything takes place more consciously and intensively, he said. “But career end or not, I’m working on all the details and just enjoying knowing that I most likely won’t be in such fitness form again and trying to get the most out of every day.” It’s like everything: “It’s just more special when it’s rare.”