TOP German professional triathlete Till Schramm is in Port Elizabeth to take on the world’s toughest sportsmen in the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship for the first time on Sunday.
The 30-year-old, from Cologne and now based in Dubai, is excited about competing in the Bay and adds he is not too worried about the wellknown unpredictable PE weather.
“I come from Cologne which is mainly 80% winter. I know about rain and cold, and I live in Dubai. So I am familiar with training in the heat. I will most likely be able to manage the circumstances,” Schramm said.
He is in good shape and is looking forward to competing on Sunday. “This race has been quite high on my bucket list for the last couple of years and I am really happy to live the dream. I have been in South Africa for training and I really love the place and the people are so welcoming. It is very unique.
“I had a bad February but the last couple of weeks I really pulled myself together. I had a good training camp leading up to the race.
“All of the other guys are in good shape as well, so it’s hard to make any predictions. They all have tactics and ideas but the plan is to be as fast as I can at the finish line,” he said.
Schramm’s first professional race was in 2008, aged 22, and since 2011 he has been fully professional and racing around the world.
His highest achievements are three runner-up finishes at European iron-distance events (the Cologne Triathlon Weekend in 2012 and 2013 and Ostseeman in 2013) and a victory at the half-distance Hückeswagen Triathlon in 2011.
Schramm yesterday donated R25 000 (R1 000 per development team member) to the SA Triathlon Development (SATD) programme on behalf of his main sponsor Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo.
He has entered Ironman on a charity ticket which includes a donation of R13 000 to the Ironman 4 the Kidz Charity Trust that assists destitute children.
“Till’s donation has been a great help. It is really something special.
“This will go some way to helping us achieve our goals for our development athletes – we are very grateful to Till Schramm and Alpecin and we wish him all the best of luck for his race,” SATD development officer Justin Butler said.