Triathlon came into my life when I was just three years old. Barely able to stand on my own two feet, I saw the athletes of the Ironman European Championship racing through my hometown close to Frankfurt. The crowd was cheering for all the brave women and men, swimming 3.8 km, cycling 180 km before running a full marathon. All in one go, all in one day.

Time and time again, I watched the spectacle and the older I became, the more excited I got every year. I admired the athletes’ passion, determination, and sheer willpower. Showing physical toughness and mental strength, beating the odds, pushing limits. In hindsight, I think I caught the bug when I was about six years old. That’s when I started to tell people that when I grow up, I am going to be an Ironman, too.

Fast forwards, 19 years later, I’m still on it. I’ve completed my first Ironman 70.3 (swim 1.9 km, bike 90 km, run 21 km) and I’m now training for my first full one (swim 3.8 km, bike 180 km and run 42 km). Unfortunately, due to an accident, I won’t be able to keep my goal of finishing my first full one in 2020, but I’ll do my very best to finally hear those words that I’ve been longing to hear for so long, when I’ll cross the finish line of the Ironman 2022 in Frankfurt, back at the place where it all began:

“Anka, you are Ironman.”

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