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Jo the Hunter « Joseph Spindler's Blog


Jo the Hunter


Cologne 226 was quite a tough race for me. Before the race, I thought a 58 min swim split would be quite possible. However, I finally ended up with 64 min. I really don’t know, why I couldn’t take my definitively improved swim from the pool into the open water swim this time. Fact is that Luke Dragsta was already riding his bike for 15 minutes when I came out of the water.

But feeling sorry with myself only because I had a bad swim was never and option. In fact, feeling sorry with yourself, only because your goals suddenly seem out of reach is never an option! So many wannabe ironmen do exactly the opposit: They give up before they even tried hard enough. Ok, I messed up the first hour, but there are 7 more hours to make it better. Do your job and when you finished look at the outcome. No pre-meditation how the day might be! Better focus on the task at hand and ride your bike. And ride it fast! That’s what you get paid for!

We had to do 3 loops of an entirely flat and more and more windy course. Initially there was a group of 3 riders at the front, consisting of Luke Dragsta, Heiko Tewes and Sebastian Küfner, an unknown 22 year-old German, who did his very first iron distance race. I made some time on Luke and Heiko, but Sebastian still pulled away and increased his lead from 15 min to 18 min in T2. 18 minutes! This was not exactly what I wanted to hear when I dropped off my bike. But at that time, I didn’t really care. I was not interested. I dropped of my expectations to this race when I jumped onto my bike after the swim. And guess what? Racing without expectations is so much easier! Now I was only looking forward to the run, to get out of the low aero position, to move my legs in a different way.
I immediately had a good rhythm. For the first 10k it was pure joy of running, what I call “the race feel”: the joy of feeling your body operating at its limits. All of a sudden, it turned a bit into pain run, since I got a tumb leg, couldn’t feel anything in my left leg, felt very wired. But nevertheless could hold my speed.

In the second loop of 4 my competitors slowed down. I could hold my run together and started to eat them up from behind. At the beginning of loop 3 I already was 2nd, but still 11 min back of the leading man. Can you be satisfied with second? No, you can’t! Beginning of loop 4 still 6 min left. Was it possible to close that gap? I was not really sure – but I had lots of good friends at the course, who yelled at me and believed in me so much! This gave me a great confidence boost, I put all in I had, really pushed my limits, and got closer and closer. I was flying. Nevertheless, at 40k there was still a bit more than a minute left. But now I could see him, I was getting closer and closer. But shit, why consists a marathon only out of 42k!? I already could hear the speaker at the finish line. Then, with 300m to go, I finally run past Sebastian. Sprinting, not looking back, just running, running – and crossed the finish line first!
It was a great hunt and I loved it and I think the spectators loved it as well ;-) .

That’s what I am, Jo the Hunter. I get what I hunt!

All my respect to Sebastian! He did very well and with a bit more luck he would have been the winner. Either way, this race was a great start of his iron distance journey. Keep on the hard work and good luck for your races to come!


Great thanks to Peter, Regina, Sebastian, Hasan and Nic for their believe in me and their cheering at the course.

And especially to Erik and Denise for a great homestay and all their incredible support all over this weekend!

It wouldn’t have been possible without you!

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