Ralf Seifert completes Solo Long Distance on course Challenge Almere-Amsterdam

With a swim time of 1:11:11hr, a bike time of 5:40:36hr, a run time of 4:04:50hr and a total time of 10:56:37hr, Ralf Seifert was one of the most striking appearances during the Solo Challenge of Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, which was held at the beginning of September. The German athlete did not complete a Middle Distance – the distance prescribed for the Solo Challenge – but solo completed a Long Distance. He did spread the disciplines over three different days, but above all enjoyed everything Almere has to offer. “This is such a beautiful race: I just didn’t want to miss it.”

Still he was forced to miss Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, because a real race wasn’t possible this year because of the coronavirus. However, his vacation to Almere had already been planned and so Seifert ‘just’ went to the Netherlands. “I started triathlon in 2018 and have done ten races since then: six Sprint Distances, two Olympic Distances and two Middle Distance races. The only major race I did was Challenge Almere-Amsterdam in 2019. The overwhelming impression that this made on me made me want to do my first Long Distance in Almere this year. Everything was amazing in Almere: the happy volunteers, the perfect organization and the party after the finish line, the courses. It was just really perfect in 2019.”

Seifert came into contact with Challenge Almere-Amsterdam a year earlier: “In 2018 I was on holiday in Zeewolde and saw that there were beautiful bike paths and lots of athletes in the area. I talked to a lot of them, asked them about beautiful races and got to hear Challenge Almere-Amsterdam all the time. In 2019 I did participate and I was able to say all those athletes were right: this is a really cool race.”

And so after the finish, his arrows were aimed directly at 2020, when Seifert would complete his first Long Distance in Almere. Nevertheless, when the coronavirus strikes and he heard about the Solo Challenge, he didn’t immediately think he was going to do a Long Distance himself. “That actually just happened. I swam in a pool and the time and distance passed so quickly that I just swam up to 3.9km. It was fun. The bike ride was planned: I had my new triathlon bike with me and wanted to test it on the racecourse, so I did 180km. As I had a virtual run with my German colleagues on the final day, where we had to do as many kilometers as possible for charity, I ended up doing six more laps around the Weerwater and running a marathon.”

He certainly had a tough time, Seifert mentions his heavy legs on the bike and two tough final running loops, but the German enjoyed most of all. ”All the beautiful memories of 2019 surfaced. I will definitely come back here next year.”