On 22nd July, I set off. I wanted to complete a triathlon around the borders of Germany, my home country, for the very first time: 31 days and the equivalent distance of 16 Ironmans.
I started from Lindau, a town on the eastern shore of Lake Constance, and swam 37 miles (60 km) through the lake. Next, I switched onto my bike and rode in a clockwise direction around Germany until I returned to Bavaria. I swapped my cycling shoes for my running trainers and finished the Tour with a run equivalent to 16 marathons.
As always, the trip was self-supported and I had all my equipment with me. My goal was to be quick on the road, but not as fast as I can be. I designed the trip as a warm-up and equipment test for my upcoming ‘Triathlon 360 degree’ – the first ever triathlon around the world.
On the way, I was accompanied by many friends and even complete strangers, which was a big motivation for me. In this Collection, I tell the story of my triathlon around Germany and take you along for part of the journey.
Let's go: at 1 p.m. I start from the island of Lindau!A few local media and a kayak accompanied me for the first few kilometers of swimming. I have a slight headwind and current, but I'm making good progress. After four kilometers I swim ashore at a small bathing place and eat something. In the water I eat a bar every 20 minutes, but that's not enough and one of the challenges of swimming.
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After a restless night in the park, I walk around the large ferry terminal in Friedrichshafen and go into the water at the quay wall. Suddenly two waiters come and ask if I can get two chairs out of the lake for you. They apparently threw drunk people over the railing last night. As a reward, I'm invited to coffee and croissants and I'll start a little later.
I start before 7 a.m. to escape the wind and be able to swim at least the first few kilometers without problems.In Habnau I can't avoid going ashore when a stand-up paddler comes up to me: He's a reader of the triathlon magazine and he's got some sweet treats! Shortly afterwards a cyclist appears with coffee and pretzels, so that the break is a little longer.
I start at 7 a.m. in the rain and make good progress. The wind forecast shows a strong headwind from noon, so I prefer to swim a little faster. The first nine kilometers go well, always along the lonely and spectacular south coast.At noon the wind and the waves come and I hardly make any headway. The last kilometers to Bodman are extremely tough with nasty currents and strong winds.
Finally back on the bike!After a good breakfast, I always start at 8 a.m. along the Swiss border. On mostly small, quiet paths it goes hilly to Basel and then flat through the Rhine Valley. It gets very hot at lunchtime and I take an ice cream break. I enjoy every moment and notice how my body slowly recovers from the stress of swimming.
A great day on the bike. I had a lot of company, several people joined my tour on some sections of the route. In the morning a nice climb through the Palatinate Forest was waiting for me, in the afternoon a strong headwind accompanied me on the journey through the Saarland. We are now approaching Trier early in the morning.
Today was a climbing stage through the Eifel with 250 kilometers and 3300 meters of altitude on the plan.I drove through beautiful hills along the Luxembourg and Belgian borders and was happy to be accompanied by Ralf, who was there most of the day. In the evening the Ryzon crew and other cyclists joined us and we ended the day in a beer garden in Aachen. 👌
A really beautiful, but also long day, took me through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania today. 💪I left Kiel in the early morning and followed closely the Baltic Sea coast, where some really nice views were waiting for me. In addition, I could look forward to great company again. But beyond that, I met few people: only long, empty streets and lots of nature - one of my favorite stages so far!
A real high-speed stage along the Polish border: flat roads and a tail wind all day - that went well forward. Despite the many cobblestone sections in the morning that shook me and the bike a lot ...Today my 30 mm Schwalbe (ProOne) tires could finally prove themselves. High comfort and no breakdowns, that's exactly what I had installed them for. 😅👌
A flat stage along the Polish border. In the evening I reached Zittau and thus the mountains along the Czech border. Now I turn west into the Ore Mountains. The queen stage with over 4,000 meters of altitude is waiting for me. After the flat days in the far north, I'm really looking forward to it.
The royal stage through the Ore Mountains! 😍After the past flat days, I was looking forward to the change and some nice, steep climbs. In the mornings and afternoons I also had great company and made a short stop in Bad Schandau for a TV interview on MDR. A very varied day!Now in Bavaria I'm on my way to the last change: into my running shoes. 💪
Right at the beginning, a demanding stage with many climbs through the Vogtland was waiting for me today.At around 10 a.m. I reach Bavaria, the last state on my trip through Germany. A television team is waiting for me at the border and follows me for a while. It continues through the hills and gets very hot. It gets even more exhausting because I'm rushing so that I can meet a friend for dinner.
Today I was able to add a few more kilometers: it was 51 in the end, even though I really didn't eat enough.The morning started with a seven-kilometer run to Dreisessel. From there I followed the Austrian border in hilly terrain and am now on the outskirts of Passau. As my body gets used to running, I feel strong and motivated to increase the distance a bit all day.