2016 - Jonas Held fully on course for success

3:27:26 - this combination of numbers is not a math problem, nor are they geographical coordinates. No, it is the target time of the vice world champion in cross triathlon (AK 15-19 years) - Jonas Held. But one after the other.

The hard way to success

As reported in our blog in June, Jonas had set his sights high for the 2016 season: participating in the XTerra World Championships on Oct. 23, 2016, in Maui, Hawaii. To be able to start there, he had to qualify in advance at a European XTerra race. After three exciting attempts, he was able to solve his ticket to participate in the World Championship in Maui in Denmark on September 4, 2016. The big goal for 2016 was achieved.

And on 23.10. the time had come. In the morning at 5:30 a.m. Jonas started the day he will remember for a long time with joy and pride. Excited, but striving for inner peace, he went to the start at 9:04 am. As he says himself, he has never been so fit and well prepared as on that day.

He has one person in particular to thank for that: his coach Marco Kalwak from Sportclub Riesa, who also accompanied Jonas to the race in Maui, giving him sporting and mental support. The two have been working together for several years. Jonas had moved from his hometown of Chemnitz to the Sportclub's boarding school in Riesa 3 years ago to take full advantage of the perfect training conditions offered by the city of Riesa and the Sportclub.

Jonas had done everything to make it an unforgettable day, but there was still one unpredictable component: the weather. And that had it all! Actually, it was not supposed to rain and there was little wind predicted, but... So the race started with particularly high waves, but he mastered the 1.5 km in the open sea and was able to switch to the bike in fifth place despite waves up to three meters high. As a side note, Jonas delivered the shortest transition times in his athletic career in this race.

"Jonas mastered the 1.5 km in the open sea and was able to change onto the bike in fifth place despite waves up to three meters high."

The 30 km long bike lap had it all with its 1300 hm, but the rain put the crown on the whole thing. The race resembled a mud battle, which the athletes felt all over their bodies, and the bikes also really suffered. Fortunately, Jonas had no significant damage to his new TBR mountain bike (link: http://www.bike-bauer.de/index.php), which he had kindly been sponsored by Autohaus Krauß from Gornau(http://www.autohaus-krauss.de/). The persistent rain turned the bike course into a slide with sticky volcanic rock and heavy red soil. Winking, he complained about the Hawaiian dirt, which does not fall off the bike as nicely as "our dirt" right away, no, between the rear wheel and the frame grew downright mountains of red sticky earth. Also the circuit and the brakes were not spared. So he had to dismount several times to free his bike from the additional load and put the chain back on the sprockets. Cycling is actually his strongest discipline, but due to the track conditions he was not able to do it as usual.

Angry about the weather conditions and with a gap of 8 min to the top, Jonas switched to the 10 km run course, which was soaked by the rain. The anger in his stomach was not a disadvantage here, it drove him to top performance. Jonas got to know his body and his will in a whole new way. "I ran like I was running for my life because I had such a rage in my stomach," is how Jonas described his condition at the beginning of the last 10 km. Extremely slippery ground and very steep ramps made this run the most painful running session in his athletic career so far. And in the end... he was the second fastest crosstriathlete in the world in the 15-19 age group. With a final time of 3 hours, 27 minutes and 26 seconds, he finished after New Zealand's Hayden Wilde. Once there, he didn't realize his success until he saw it in black and white. "Completely overwhelmed, my coach and I fell into each other's arms," he said.

"I was running like for my life because I had such a rage in my stomach."

And now? After a well-deserved period of relief, Jonas is currently already back in full winter training. In terms of school, he has long since made up for everything he missed and is fully focused on his upcoming high school exams in 2017, but he still wants to give his all in terms of sports next year. He is thinking about a professional license, the exact race calendar for 2017 is not yet set, but for now it is important to keep his physical shape. Strength endurance training in the winter and continue to work on the sprint.

Finally, Dr. Marco Tinius, who provides Jonas with medical care and financial support, should be mentioned. Also the company Feralpi and the Nudelcenter from Riesa supported Jonas financially for the start in Hawaii.

We wish for the upcoming year an injury-free training and competition time and no material failures in the planned races.