What makes you unique as an athlete?
Different things that are not so special individually, but in combination I suppose they make me a bit unique.
- I love my training and would not want to miss it for a single day. I have felt like that about it for the last five or six years.
- I don’t need or want winter breaks. That means I maintain a high level all year round, so I start the season at a high level each year.
- I am really target-oriented. I set my targets realistically, and I go for them all in.
- I am humble about my sport.
- I optimise everything I can: my training, both amount and intensity, my diet, sleep, performances and the way they interact. I learn something new from the results of all my training sessions.
What’s your best performance(s) and which performance has influenced you the most?
In 2015 I went to the World championships in Hawaii for the first time. With all its stories and myths, this event has always fascinated me deeply. I had no idea what was ahead of me, but I have a great respect for this race. I came in 4th in my AG, but since that event I have set myself a new target, to be world champion one day.
I was not racing at my best in Hawaii in 2018, and again, I came in 4th in my AG. After I had got over the disappointment, I set to work and lifted my training, and my diet, sleep and analyses of my training sessions to a new level. I learnt from everything I did, including the results of the less good training sessions.
In 2019 I was back in Hawaii with a fixed target and a precise plan. I did my life’s best Ironman. Everything succeeded as planned, and right after the cycling I already knew that I simply had to keep up a sensible pace in the run to be world champion in my age group. Still, things went even better than expected, and about 25 km into the run I overtook the leading AG woman, and for the last 7-8 km I knew I would not be overtaken, and that I could enjoy the rest of the race and come in as overall AG world champion. I had the second fastest time ever achieved by a woman in that age group on Hawaii, and became the oldest overall AG world champion ever.
It really was the most fantastic experience of all my career, and I will be excited to see whether I can aver achieve such a perfect run again.
What does FUSION equipment mean to you during training and in competition?
Quite seriously, FUSION sportswear is all-important. As I have developed in my training, I have, as I said, developed in all other areas as well. That means I have to feel comfortable during preparations, before and after training. I would not be able to carry out my training so well if I did not have the best equipment, including sportswear.
During actual events, it is simply alpha and omega for me to have the best equipment. There is no reason to train so hard to get into better form if you don't have the best equipment generally to go with it. Just the self confidence in knowing that it is optimally aerodynamic, transports sweat and feels light and comfortable.
What other sponsors do you have and how do they help you become a better athlete?
Like FUSION, United Cycling is an amazingly helpful and friendly family, and everyone is interested in helping me to optimise my Argon 18. They make suggestions about tyres, tubes, position, posture, and sparring in general around racing and techniques.
HIDDIT supply the best energy (for me in any case), on the market. They are Dutch, so they are not as close as FUSION and United Cycling, but they are there when I need them, and I can sound out ideas with them on content, energy calculations, salt content, BCAA, proteins and good advice all round.
30 October 1973 (45 years)
Goal(s) of the season:
New personal record at the Copenhagen Ironman. In Hawaii I achieved 9.23, so it will be exciting to see what I can do if everything succeeds and I function physically.
Top 3 in Hawaii, even if I am affected by my race in Copenhagen, because my body will not have time to recover before Hawaii.