Champion Ultra-Marathoner, Caroline Wostmann ready to fulfil triathlon dream
DURBAN, South Africa (14 June 2016) – Champion athletes find a way of reaching the top. This is the part everyone sees, applauds and admires. What many do not see is the road taken in getting to the summit, each time breaking the ceiling to reach another level. This has been the journey of 2015 Comrades Marathon champion, Caroline Wostmann. This year Wostmann crosses yet another threshold as she is set to make the Standard Bank IRONMAN® 70.3® Durban her first ever triathlon.
Wostmann shot to prominence in 2015 when she won the iconic Comrades Marathon, the world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon. Less than 10 years ago, she started running as a means to lose weight after giving birth to her first child. This was her start.
The journey from running off excess weight to Comrades champion was tied together by a single common thread – the will to keep aiming higher. She started with the dream of simply completing the Comrades – a goal many South Africans and people around the world share. Once this was achieved she set her sights on the Bill Rowen Medal which requires completing the race in under 9 hours. Again, she ticked this off but still wanting to go higher, aimed for a silver medal. This time needing to break 7 and a half hours. With silver in the bag and top 10 not far off, she only then harboured thoughts of becoming a serious professional runner. The next year she missed Comrades through injury but in 2014 achieved her top ten goal, gold medal and the distinction of first South African women’s finisher; she finished sixth. Then in 2015 it happened, Wostmann won the Comrades Marathon.
This June she returns to the city where her legend was born to take on a new challenge, the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban, her first ever triathlon.
“From the first time I read about the IRONMAN in Modern Athlete magazine I have had a desire to participate in one. The commitment to Comrades has made it impossible to participate in any form of triathlon without compromising my run training and risking injury. After finding out that the IRONMAN 70.3 Durban was during my downtime after Comrades, I realised this was the perfect opportunity for me to fulfil this dream and I entered immediately!”
“I have never even done a brick session so I have no idea what to expect. I am just going to have as much fun as possible and take it as it comes. I have a bunch of friends, who are experienced Ironmen and women, joining me and they’ve fuelled my excitement for the event. Because I am recovering [after Comrades], I will be running according to heart rate and keeping my heart rate in my recovery zone. It will possibly be my longest half marathon ever!”
“Since Comrades, all I have been doing is biking and swimming. I love swimming but I am petrified of the ocean swim. I have only ever swum in a pool so I have no idea what to expect. I’m hoping to go out the day before with a friend just to get some tips before race day.”
After a great 24 months which saw her win the 2015 Two Oceans Marathon, 2015 Comrades Marathon and 2016 Two Oceans Marathon, Wostmann was the favourite to retain her Comrades title this year. However, after leading the race she started struggling towards the end and was eventually passed with 2km to go. Visibly in pain, she bravely soldiered on to finish in second but despite not winning, again won the hearts of the South African public through a courageous effort and not giving up.
“I was just trying to do the best that my body would enable me at the time. The position I was in became irrelevant and when [eventual winner] Charne [Bosman] passed I thought; “Good for her, I’m glad she is having a better day than me.”
“[I’ve learnt] that disappointments happen but they do not define you. What defines you is how you respond to those disappointments. I will continue to aim for excellence.”
Wostmann hopes the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban will be the stepping stone to the full IRONMAN one day and going by her relentless desire to go further and do better, this might not be too far off. When asked whether the full IRONMAN is a possibility, she is emphatic: “There’s no question, I am totally in for the full IRONMAN!”
“The challenge of these events gives you a purpose and a goal which coincides with an active healthy lifestyle. The sense of achievement you take away with you enables you to be better, do better in all aspects of life. It is possible to change your life and do extraordinary things.”
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 42 countries.
For more information, visit www.ironman.com