Kristin Möller won Ironman Lanzarote in mid May and followed it up with a podium spot at the European Ironman Championships in Frankfurt, Germany. These two results and a couple other events ranked her 20th in the women's KPR list and allows her to race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. We however bumped into her in Roth where she took part in a DATEV Challenge Roth relay.
Slowtwitch: Thank you for your time Kristin.
Kristin Möller: Thank you, it is good to be here.
ST: We have to admit we were surprised to see you competing in Roth. Wanting to spectate this event makes sense for sure, but even just being part of a relay just a week after racing in Frankfurt seems quite a task.
Kristin: I promised to take part in this relay a while ago, and I usually recover pretty quickly, even after an Ironman. And as you said, it is Roth, and it was a chance to experience the atmosphere without having to go through all of it. Some of my smaller sponsors come from the area and I found this a good opportunity to represent them in this great event. But of course we had a backup in case I hadn't felt like competing after Frankfurt.
ST: We saw you when you checked in your bike and you looked calm and ready.
Kristin: Yes as expected I had not recovered fully, but I felt strong enough. Before the check in I went for a ride and my legs were good. I even decided for a faster race pace afterwards.
ST: Uwe Widmann competed too, but he only did the swim for a relay. You however handled the bike segment for your team.
Kristin: The bike segment certainly is more tiring than the swim. But riding is the discipline where you can control best how much energy you invest. My cycling already improved quite a lot this year, but there is still much work to do. The relay was a good chance of testing equipment we didn't dare to use in Lanzarote or Frankfurt, without much risk. For example a five spoke front wheel. Now we know I can handle it on a course like Roth.
ST: What kind of 5 spoke wheel and what else did you test?
Kristin: The Mavic iQ - it is actually designed for track use only, but seems to be pretty fast on road, too. I also used a white helmet instead of my black one to see if it is cooler. It was, but not much.
ST: Some folks actually feel more pressure as part of a team, because they are no longer responsible for just themselves.
Kristin: I usually don't put my self under pressure much anyway. I'm more a relaxed person - at least 99% of the time. It only changes completely 5 minutes before a race start
ST: Relays are typically casual and more fun, but in Roth it seems to be a very serious business. Is that a fair description?
Kristin: For me, it was more for fun than for the result. But I also saw relays that were packed with top pros from every discipline, racing hard and finishing far below 8 hours. And in addition to the overall ranking, the relay starters also focus on their internal discipline ranking. But like for my team, for most relays it seems to be about finishing, enjoying the atmosphere and having fun.
ST: How did you get recruited for this team?
Kristin: The runner is a friend of mine. He took this relay as a chance to run a marathon for the first time in his life. He asked me if I would do the bike part and I said yes.
ST: And how did your team do?
Kristin: Good! Everyone was happy with their individual results. The overall time was 10:42
ST: A week earlier you finished 3rd in Frankfurt. Were you happy?
Kristin: Yes, very happy. At first I was a little disappointed, too, because I felt like I could have done better on the bike. And since it was pretty close in the end, of course you ask yourself these "what if" questions. But in the end, it was a new personal best (9:01), my fastest bike split ever and a great marathon! Even the swim was faster than last year. And when you start your run not even being top 10 and still make the podium in the end, it is just an incredible feeling when you see the finish line.
ST: Did you think you would reel in Swallow and possibly Pedersen on the run?
Kristin: At one point I was told that Jodie had problems and that I might still get her, but that was just for a rather short moment. With 10k to go, I realized that if nothing unforeseen would happen, these two had just to big of a head start for me to reel them in.
ST: Is anyone working with you on your bike speed?
Kristin: Yes, with my new coach Utz Brenner I am doing specific bike intervals to improve my wattage on the bike. Christoph Schwerdt, a former Pro cyclist who prepares my bike, and I tinker with my aero dynamics, and that has resulted in me being more competitive on flat courses. Altogether I have gained minutes compared to before.
ST: Word has it that you are coming from a running background, and your run speed seems to confirm that. Is that indeed so?
Kristin: That is true. I was on the German steeplechase national team before I quit because of an injury.
ST: How did you get started with triathlon?
Kristin: During my time at university, I volunteered at a local triathlon. I bet a friend on that I would compete the year after. So on year later, and to everyone’s surprise, I finished my first Olympic distance triathlon in 2:05 and for my first middle distance race I came in 2nd in 3:55 in Erlangen, forcing winner Sonja Tajsich into a new course record. That's when I found I might have a talent for this.
ST: Did Sonja Tajsich say anything to you after that race or at least wonder who you are and where you came from?
Kristin: Sonja was very surprised about my good performance. She actually only wanted to have an easy training competition, but she had to work quite hard as at the end there were only 9 seconds between us.
ST: You won a couple Ironman titles and your resume is filling up nicely. Is there a result that is especially dear to you?
Kristin: I think Lanzarote was special. After this turbulent winter with the end of my former team and having to search new sponsors and partners, I didn't know exactly where I did stand. Not only winning this race, but winning it with this pretty fast time finally blew away the last doubts that I could go on as a professional triathlete without a team.
ST: How did you learn about the demise of Team Abu Dhabi?
Kristin: I was informed in February about the end of the team by Werner Leitner, the manager of the team.
ST: Post Abu Dhabi is all well with sponsors?
Kristin: I am glad and thankful that I have found really motivated suppliers at a time of a year, where everyone usually has no more budget left for nothing. Talking about equipment, I even made a step ahead compared to last year. But the one actual sponsor I have still feels a little lonely on my racing suit. So for next year, I definitely need more financial support. It's not an easy task, but I hope my 2013 results will help.
ST: Is there anything else we should know?
Kristin: I like chili peppers and ginger.