European champion Peter Lohmann
"I want to become European champion"
Peter Lohmann becomes European champion at the Ironman in Frankfurt
Düsseldorf police

This was the challenging statement made by Peter Lohmann, district officer in the South Police Department at Düsseldorf Police Headquarters, when he signed up for the Mainova Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt. "I've already achieved good first places at previous European Championships, but this time I want to be first". First in the European Ironman Triathlon Championship, i.e. completing a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and a full-blown marathon. And first in his age group M 55, because he is 57 years old.

On June 26, 2022, at around 6:25 a.m., the starting signal was given. In the Langener Waldsee lake south of Frankfurt, 3,000 athletes began the 3.8 km swim. An impressive sight when the triathletes enter the water slightly staggered and in groups. Two triangular courses of 1.5 and 2.3 km had to be completed. For a change, there was a short land passage in between.

On the swim course, Peter was able to hold his own, although it was a little difficult for him to find his bearings. The marker buoys were not on his "favorite side".

After the swim, he walked to the transition area. Swimsuit off, cycling shoes on and everything neatly put away, otherwise there would be a time penalty afterwards. "You can't gain time in the transition zone, you can only lose it," says the experienced triathlete.

The bike course went from Langener Waldsee through Frankfurt city center to the northern outskirts of the Taunus. Two subsequent 85 km laps had to be completed on slightly hilly terrain. An unusual part of the course was the cobbled section. A small challenge for the triathletes with their special competition bikes.

Peter completed the bike course with caution, without pushing himself to the limit. As it turned out later, this was a wise decision.

But can you take it easy if you want to become European champion in your age group? After the transition from the bike to the run, Peter was 20 minutes behind the leader in his age group. At first glance, you might think this was a hopeless endeavor for Peter.

However, Peter had reckoned without his coaching son Felix. He spurred his father on to a brilliant race to catch up by cheering him on and providing information. With every kilometer, he pushed himself closer to the leader. At kilometer 40, however, it was still 1 minute. But with his wife Birgit and coach Felix cheering him on, he ran the last two kilometers so fast that he was able to overtake the runner in front of him. Cramp-ridden and with a 30-second lead, he crossed the finish line at Frankfurt's Römer and became EUROPEAN CHAMPION of triathletes in the 55 age group. With a total time of 9h 45min, he came a fantastic 156th out of 3,000 starters in the overall field.

From the outside looking in, it was an incredible achievement to even complete such an Iron Man triathlon. But to finish this European Championship in first place is simply outstanding. Without a lot of training, stamina and discipline, it would have been impossible. Congratulations to Peter for this great performance.

Thanks to his place, Peter has secured himself a starting place at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in October. But he knows his way around there better than in Langener Waldsee, as it will be his fifth participation in Hawaii.

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Translated with DeepL.com (pro version)
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