We caught up with German Ueberbiker and 2 x Ironman World Champion Normann Stadler in Kona, Hawaii to hear his thoughts about the pending 2007 Ford Ironman World Championships.
ST: Do you feel you are as prepared for Kona as you would like to be?
Normann: I guess we’ll know on October 13… I feel very strong and will do everything to defend my title.
ST: Have you done anything different than in previous years?
Normann: No, I went to prepare in San Diego like always. For the first time though I had my teammates Jan Raphael and Markus Fachbach with me and that was a lot of fun.
ST: Do you think there is a lot of pressure on you to repeat the performance from last year?
Normann: Sure, but I have the advantage that I already won Ironman Hawaii twice and many other athletes on the start list have no win to show. I had a perfect day in 2006 and that’ll be hard to top, but…
ST: What do you think your race at Ironman Germany in Frankfurt said about your fitness?
Normann: I was very well prepared and wanted to win. At the first buoy during the swim I pinched a nerve in my lower back and couldn’t get all my power after that. After riding on the top of the bars for 150 k I decided to stop as the pain was now getting into my legs.
ST: What do you think about the comments of McCormack after last year's race?
Normann: Was there something? FYI, in a previous interview he said he wouldn’t need 7 years to win in Hawaii, but 2007 is his 7th year. No further comment needed.
ST: Do events like that inspire you to train even harder?
ST: Who do you think are your toughest competitors this year in Kona?
Normann: I’ll worry about my race and nothing rally has changed about the competition.
ST: What about other race venues for the Ironman World Championships, or is Kona the place for it?
Normann: It all should stay as is. I love Kona and the island.
ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Normann: For the next few years I’ll surely still be a pro triathlete and after that I’ll decide if I still have fun with this “adventure.” But think most likely not. ☺
In 5 years I’ll surely be in Hawaii again. Whether as athlete or manager of the Dresdner Kleinwort Team I can’t say yet. As long as I can win I’ll be racing in Hawaii.