Manuel Schräder has to marvel a bit at himself. After all, the former amateur soccer player only recently started training intensively and, as an amateur athlete, achieved second place in his age group at the Ironman in Frankfurt - thus punching his ticket to Hawaii.
For his dream, however, the 30-year-old has to be very consistent: Since the beginning of the year, he has been training an average of 20 hours a week, usually with one unit before work and one or two more units after work - on the weekends, the program mainly includes longer units. "Girlfriend, family, and friends have to put up with a lot at the moment, of course. But they support me 100 percent, and for me, it's an extra motivation when they cheer me on at the side of the track," the man from Großholbach is already looking forward to his next adventures.
Looking back, it was a very special year for Manuel with the two World Championships in October as a highlight. At Ironman Hawaii he was able to finish in the top 20% and in St. George in the top 10%.
In terms of conditions, it was quite a contrast that I had to master there within three weeks of each other: After 27° water and 32° outside temperature in Hawaii, it was then 16° water and 5° outside temperature in St. George on race morning. But even that was a new, exciting challenge for me.