German former world champion Sebastian Kienle has announced that he will race one more Long Distance. Initially, he still thought the Norseman would be his last race over the classic distance – as a professional athlete – but nothing could be further from the truth.
During the Norseman, Kienle finished second. During the race he said to himself that it really would be his last Long Distance. But so, it is not.
“The moment where I lied to myself. Running up Zombie Hill at Norseman I was in no man’s land. I wasn’t able to believe that I would still be able to win the race. I knew I would finish second (like so often), if I kept going. And I was going very slowly. When your body gets weak, you try to convince him to keep going. I came to the conclusion that this will be my last long course race. During a long career you most likely become very good at making yourself believe things that are probably not true. But I made a lot of those things happen, so I learned to believe. This time I knew a couple of days later that I probably wasn’t honest with myself. I wanted to do a last race where I know that it will be my last one before I start it. So I will do one more race which will be my last one.”
Kienle is in his final year as a professional athlete. Given the time of year, it seems likely that his last Long Distance race will be in Oceania.