She Moves Paratriathlon

World explainers, watt pics and my unconditional will

12. February 2020

The dream of Kona - I dream it too. Not for long but already quite specific. And this year I want to start making it happen. Stage one on the way to the IRONMAN or so to speak the IRONWOMEN. My first middle distance is on the program and in October I will take my first breath of the Hawaiian air for two weeks. I will look at the climatic conditions and the competition routes to prepare myself optimally for 2021. I would like to network and possibly join a group. The negotiations are on!

I still can hardly imagine bringing my body to or even beyond its limits in such an incredible way. 226 kilometers of pure arm work - is that possible? And if so, how? It is so incredible that I am at this point planning my first long distance. But actually it is the logical next stop on my way.

Foto: Jan Siewert

Which is the best strategy?

After my swimming career and great success in cycling, I wanted to prove myself again in triathlon that I can tackle and do things. I had selectively expanded my knowledge of triathlon through numerous channels. Of course, I was dealing with the usual suspects - I affectionately call them world explainers. Those who believe that their view of people and the world must also be mine. In my opinion the art is, despite of so many surely well-intentioned hints and tips, to create my own picture of things. I want to go the right way for me.

That may be a thorn in the eye of one or the other but shouldn't I first of all please myself? After all, training methods and competition strategies have to work for me and my body. My success proves me right. Podiums already trickled in the first year. After some World Cup successes, I surprisingly finished third at the World Championships in Lausanne and became finally European Champion in Valencia. Back home I wanted more! The plan was clear. There is no way around the Paralympics in Tokyo and so my fifth Games in the third sport. But what more and more fascinated me in the past year was the world of long distance triathlon. And because it has always been difficult for me to set small goals, it quickly became clear that I would consider the “Kona Project” in the post Paralympic year 2021.

After my first season in triathlon and lots of experience - positive and educational - I finally knew where my strengths and potential are. Taking on the challenge of pushing the body to its limits and beyond makes my heart beat faster. I also feel very well cared in the community. The plan would look like this: To get the qualification at the 70.3 Ironman in Luxembourg in June 2021 and to compete in Kona in October 2021. But in the past few weeks I've been pondering something...

Big goals! Too big?

Through the former head coach of the Paratriathlon National Team Mario Schmidt-Wendling, I already made contacts with the ex-long-distance pro athletes Lothar and Nicole Leder in 2018. Maybe it was the conversation with Nicole that made me think and encouraged me to rethink my plan. Why not gain your first experience on the middle distance already this year (2020) in order to be completely differently prepared for next year? Would the training burden be too much for the Paralympics plus a middle distance? How would the responsible in the association take it? Could the action lead to problems? Questions after questions which caused me a couple of sleepless nights. On the other hand, the question arose whether I have to justify myself? Do I want to let other people or institutions determine my life or my goals?

At the end of 2017, I was faced with the exact similar decision. After my double success at the Paracycling World Championships, the contract of my bike sponsor was due to expire. They’ve showed it clearly that top performance wasn’t enough. I was literally faced with the decision to adapt and line up or to go my own way and also take a risk. At that time, I decited for independence and self-determination. Till now I´ve never regretted. I only live once and who knows what happens next year!? Nobody can say what the future looks like and that’s exactly why I am now deciding conscious to tackle and implement my dreams.

The only counting opinion for me is the one of my coach Ralf Lindschulten. He has been training long-distance athletes for a long time. Seven years ago we started our path together and since then he always got the best out of me. He introduced me to the watt world and showed me to train with it. With him I became a Paralympic Champion and four time World Champion as a Handbiker. If he says it´s possible, it is! And he gave me his go! So let's go! Why waiting? The doors of the world are open - I just have to go through! After a few detours I got a starting place at the Ironman 70.3 in Luxembourg and was around 350 euros lighter - I couldn't help myself to make my click at the event backpack! Here we go!

Grow beyond me

An exciting year with new challenges is waiting for me! I have now completed the third month on my absolute favorite island Lanzarote. I wonder if I have taken good care of my body and if I can now implement my power in the competitions. What are my expectations for the new season? I am well aware that I now have to be very careful and considerate with my resources. In addition, numerous tests are pending on what my body needs and tolerates on a long distances. Who will support me during the race? Where do I store my water bottles during the race? For one or the other maybe trivial things that can be very crucial in my case. I will race the entire 113 kilometers of the middle distance with full arm power. That means I won´t be able to stretch my arms out for water all the time. I have to think completely different.

But I can't wait to get started and attack! I want to grow beyond myself in the coming years and show the world explainers what is right for me.


Profi-Triathletin
Live your dream - no limits! Das ist das Motto von Paratriathletin Christiane Reppe. Christiane ist eine echte Powerfrau und gehört zu den erfolgreichsten deutschen Spitzensportlerinnen. Wer Christiane kennenlernt, der merkt schnell: Trübsal blasen passt so gar nicht zu diesem gut gelaunten Energiebündel, deren Bewegungsdrang schier keine Grenzen zu kennen scheint. Daher ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass sie bereits heute, im Alter von 31 Jahren, auf eine steile Karriere zurückblicken kann. Zusammen mit ihren Kollegen der deutschen Paratriathlon-Mannschaft bereitet sie sich aktuell auf die Teilnahme bei den Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 vor. Bei TIME2TRI berichtet sie von ihrer Reise.
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