Last year Katharina Wolff won Challenge Almere-Amsterdam: she then crowned herself European Champion Long Distance in a time of 9:10:10 and amazed not only herself, but also followers from all over the world. This Saturday, the top German athlete will defend her title in Almere and she is ready to compete with all the other professional women hoping to eventually win the race.
“I had a super good preparation for the race. I’m also working as a teacher in school, so I didn’t had the opportunity for some training camps in the sun or altitude this year. But the balancing act between working and training went well and I did my preparation at home.”
Wolff says she is ready for all scenarios, but she is actually hoping for some sun and not too much wind. In that regard, the weather seem to be favoring her, as the forecast is good for now with about 25 degrees and little wind. “Of course I hope for a sunny day with not too much wind, so it will be a fast race. Honestly I don‘t get along well with cold conditions but I’m prepared for all scenarios – hopefully.”
While Wolff realizes pretty well that she is the defending champion at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam this year, a race high on the wish list of many pro athletes, she feels little extra pressure. “Until now I don‘t feel extra pressure to defend my title. I answer this question while sitting on the couch and cuddle our cat, so maybe you should ask me this weekend in Almere.”
Of course, Wolff is aware of the competition she will face, and she doesn’t necessarily call herself the favorite. “I think there are a lot of strong women who could rock the podium. Of course Els Visser, but also my German colleagues Lina Kristin, who showed all the years strong results in Almere, and Lisa Gerß, who will race her first Long distance. But also Alexandra Tondeur or Renee Kiley and more, so I hope for a good fight out on the course. I feel more confident than last year because I know the race, the course and I definitely have the great memories of last year in mind.
In any case, Challenge Almere-Amsterdam is forever in Wolff’s heart and she is looking forward immensely to racing again upcoming weekend. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday: to Almere and The Netherlands in general, because I spent a lot of my childhood there – my father had a windsurf school at the IJsselmeer). And of course to the race, to all of the mental challenges during the race and to the fries afterwards.”