Daniela Kleiser with the agegroup world champion title on the 70.3 distance
Dani • 13. October 2021 • 5 Min.
Hi dear KickAss Squad, Dani reports back. Unfortunately the time between Samorin and Utah was very short and I didn’t make it to a little interim update. But now all races are behind me and I wrote a little race report about my last competitions with a summary of the 2021 season.
As you probably already know from my first blog post, I’ve only been training with KickAss Sports since December 2020. Since then, things have been on a steep uphill climb for me. It’s not just a feeling that I’m getting faster and getting more performance out of my body. No, the competitions I’ve done this year also reflect that in numbers, facts and figures.
The Championship Samorin
After my last post, my journey first went to Samorin, Slovakia. There “The Championship”, the unofficial world championship over the middle distance of the Challenge Family, took place. The race was a wild ride. The swim in the Danube against the current with wind and (for a river) high waves or strong turbulence was a disaster. I crawled out of the water only after a good 41minutes. A terrible feeling I must admit…but I thought to myself: “It can’t get any worse”
On the bike, the wind didn’t let up. The bike course went straight to the freeway where 4 loops were done afterwards. Always back and forth. For this race, that meant alternating tailwinds and headwinds (and the occasional gust from the side). Somehow I fought my way through it. In my head I always said to myself: Dani, you always have to invest against the wind, with the wind anyone can!
A roller coaster of emotions
Afterwards it went down from the wheel. The legs were already quite served and have really not felt so good. Therefore I decided to sit down briefly in the transition area. Then a little mishap happened to me, because I took off my socks until I realized that I still need them. So I put them back on and started on the run.
The running actually went surprisingly well. Honestly so good that I can’t even say where this speed suddenly came from. Over grass, sand and tar it went on three rounds towards the finish line. When I looked at my watch at the finish line, it read 1:15:27 hours. And that over a half marathon, after swimming and cycling.
With this overall performance I secured the 1st place in my AK and Overall AK. Even 7th pro lady I would have become, I had this status already…but what is not, can still become.
Short trip within Germany
After Samorin I started at a small Olympic distance in Ratscher, Thuringia. There I was able to cross the finish line with a good lead and a final 10 km run in 34:12min as 1st woman and 3rd overall (including men). Another successful dress rehearsal for Utah.
On to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St.George
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah!!! I have been looking forward to it all season and on 18.09.2021 it was finally time. Thankfully, the whole procedure with the entry went smoothly and I was able to adapt very well to the climatic conditions of 40 degrees and sun in the week before the race. But as the weather god or whoever wanted, everything came differently on race day: I stood about 2:45 hrs later than the pros at the starting line, knowing that a thunderstorm was brewing behind me and getting closer.
The swim in St. George
We were sent into the water anyway, which caused me some decent concern. The water was over 25 degrees, so we had to swim without wetsuits. That was just as well, because it was really warm enough. The last 300m of the swim the storm came up and the water had decent swells. It reminded me a bit of Samorin. I still tried to stay calm and swim through to the end.
Out of the water, all sorts of things (including a construction fence) flew at me. While changing I tried to protect my things as well as possible from the gusts of wind and when I arrived at my bike, the small catastrophe was perfect: bike blown off the stand, half the nutrition leaked and the chain jumped off. The other women ran like me through the ever-long transition area, got on the bike and tried convulsively not to be blown down.
Further on the bike and in the running shoes
For the first 5km I needed 17min. It was storming, raining, thundering and later even hail. I was really glad that I had a helmet on. The weather got a little better and I was able to gain some speed. A few more showers came down, but I didn’t let them stop me from making up ground. I even had the best bike time of the non-pros.
The run was a challenging course with 400m in 2 laps of 10km. I had quite good legs and found my rhythm quite quickly, which was actually hardly possible on this course. Again and again it went uphill and when it was not uphill, the rain and wind whipped you right in the face. So beautiful is something else and fun definitely.
But I don’t want to complain, because it would be complaining on a very high level. In the end my performance was enough for a world champion title, not only in my AK, but overall. This is a huge dream come true for me and finally, finally all the hard work and training paid off.
All’s well that ends well…
I am overjoyed, grateful, and maybe a little proud that I was able to experience all this and that I can now wear this title. At this point: Many thanks to KickAss Sports and especially Flo Heck!!! Without him I would never have come this far.
Now my journey continues… where to? – To the pros. So stay with me and accompany me further, in my first steps to and as a professional triathlete.
See you soon,