Anne Haug after winning Challenge St. Pölten: “This reminds me of ITU-races”

(Photo: Challenge Family)

It was a tough battle until the final stretch: Germany’s Anne Haug had to give everything at yesterday’s Challenge St. Pölten to catch Swiss’ Imogen Simmonds. In the final 200 meters she eventually managed to do so. “It hurt so much today. The last kilometers were really like ITU-times…ITU Sprint times.”

Haug looks back at a painful, but, above all, beautiful race. “It was a really tough race I had. I had to dig my deepest, and I wasn’t sure until the end. It reminded me a little of my ITU-times. But it was an absolute great race.”

The athlete didn’t let a three-minute gap to the first woman at the start of the half-marathon and a one-minute penalty after the bike get in her way. “It’s a challenge, I take it as it gets. That’s my challenge today, I will have to run faster now,” is what Haug thought. “I could run a really fast half-marathon in the end. Nothing is impossible in a race. I always think to myself: if something unexpected happens, can I change it? If the answer is ‘no,’ I have to accept it and make the best of it. A race is over after crossing the finish line and until then anything can happen. I’m always fighting.”