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Elien Janssen

Triathlon

How long have you been competing? 
I did my first triathlon (Quarter distance) in august 2013.

Where do you call home? 
Genk, a city in the east of Belgium, with lots of woods, hilly parts and endless bikeroads.

Favorite event or place to practice? 
The island of Mallorca. The roads are great for bike rides, the weather is pleasant from March till November. 

What do you like best about your sport? 
The diversity is an evident reason to compete in triathlons. But I never could’ve guest the bond you build with fellow athletes. For Ironman distances there are a lot of long training sessions, good companionship makes these get a lot more fun. Even during races, the support we give each other is unique to the sport.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while doing your sport? 
I crashed a week before the Ironman of Frankfurt in 2015, tore my shoulder ligaments  in three places. But a week before the race, there was no way I wasn’t going to start the race. If things couldn’t get any worse, temperatures that day rose to 40 degrees (Celcius). It wasn’t my best idea to start this competition. With strong painkillers I managed to finish the swimpart, which I figured would be the hardest to do with my immobile left arm.  But  riding a  bike with just one arm isn’t childsplay either. It all went well until 140k on the bike, when I realised that because of my focus on keeping my bike on the road, I completely disregarded my energy intake and hydration. Things went really bad from here on. I started the marathon after 6h40min of competition, I finished in 12h22min. A marathon of 5h38min is a long marathon when you’re in a lot of pain and completely dehydrated. So if I can give any advice to starting athletes: don’t start a race with a AC luxation in grade 3 wink

Do you have a claim to fame (fittest, fastest, funniest, smelliest, etc.)? 
Probably most stubborn. But I think all Ironman and -women are stubborn athletes, it comes with the sport. On the other hand I might be the healthiest wink Yes, let that be my claim to fame. I’m convinced being vegan makes it easier for my body to endure all these year round training sessions. 

Do you promote an annual event or are you involved in a charitable cause? 
Through my instagram I promote a healthy way of life and being conscious of animal abuse.  

Any notable recent results? 
2014 I won my age group (18-24) in the Ironman Kalmar, and finished third in my agegroup at the Ironman 70.3 of Luxembourg. 2015 I suffered my first severe injury, which prevented me from delivering any notable results. 2016 I finished second in the Ironman 70.3 of Sankt Pölten, agegroup (25-29) and third in the Ironman of Barcelona in a time of 10h10min.

Anything else we should know about you or your sport? 
My goal for 2017 is qualifying for the world championships Ironman in Kona.