Caroline Steffen wins Ironman European Championships in Frankfurt thanks to a blazing fast run.

Caroline Steffen runs on to the top step of the podium in Ironman Frankfurt (Photo: Oliver Farys)

Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen was 13 minutes ahead of the competition in Frankfurt at Ironman European Championships.

In a windy and wet race, Caroline Steffen barely missed the course record and defeated Anja Beranek (GER) and Corinne Abraham (GBR). As in the previous year, Caroline Steffen was first off the bike and started the final run with a three minute lead on the surprisingly strong Beranek. In 2011, Steffen had suffered badly on the run and barely made it to the finish line with only a 30 second lead. What a difference this year: Steffen ran a 3:06 hour marathon and – with no pressure from behind increased her lead to 13 minutes. That is 21 minutes faster than last year. Caroline attributes the improvement in the run to a big part to her new running shoes by the Swiss up-start On, which combine a cushioned landing with a powerful push-off. “The On’s have helped me in a big way to overcome my pain and injury issues. My legs actually felt better at the finish than after the bike ride.” How does it feel to be the European Champion? “The title means a lot to me, it feels great to have overcome my problems in the run.”

Caroline now holds both the Asian as well as the European Ironman Championship titles for this year, and is set on winning her first Ironman World Championship in Hawaii this October. “These two Ironman victories give me a lot of confidence and motivation for my preparations for Kona”, Caroline Steffen said in Frankfurt. “I look forward to going back there and trying to set last year’s record straight.” Caroline Steffen had led the race until 10 km to the finish line, where – again – leg pain forced her to slow down and walk towards the finish. She eventually finished 5th. “The goal is the World Championship title”, Caroline Steffen says. Is she afraid of the excruciating run? Not anymore, Caroline Steffen said: “Finally, I can show the world that I can run!”

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