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Episode 8

Kirsten Sass & Volker Winkler – It’s Not the Race, It’s the Journey. 

by | May 19, 2020 | podcast | 0 comments

Today we have a really special interview from two very important people in my life, Kirsten Sass and her father Volker Winkler.   This interview is important for many reasons.   In 2015, Kirsten and her father Volker fulfilled a lifelong dream for both of them.  Volker’s dream was to race in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, however, after doing near a dozen Ironman races, he failed to finish high enough in his age group. At that point, Kirsten had her own dream of racing with him in Hawaii.  Her only problem was that she needed to qualify.  Listen in to hear their separate journies to arrive in Hawaii together.

Kirsten Sass & Volker Winkler: It's Not the Race, It's the Journey

Episode Highlights:

Volker’s dream of racing at Kona
Kirsten’s dream of racing with him & winning her age group at Ironman Louisville
Kirsten’s first 5k & her first triathlon
All about the family & friends 
Monthly Time trial in McKenzie, TN
Fitting in long training days for IM events
Race day in Kona
Twenty years for one day

Hosts & Guests

Suzanne Atkinson, MD

Kirsten Sass, PA-C

Volker Winkler, MD

Resources

Kirsten’s Blog – Keep Moving Forward 
Shattered

Ironman Legacy Program
https://www.ironman.com/kona-legacy

 

 

 

About this Episode

 

Today we have a really special interview from two very important people in my life, Kirsten Sass and her father Volker Winkler.   This interview is important for many reasons.   In 2015, Kirsten and her father Volker fulfilled a lifelong dream for both of them.  Volker’s dream was to race in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, however, after doing near a dozen Ironman races, he failed to finish high enough in his age group.   The Kona Legacy program allows dedicated Ironman athletes an opportunity to win a lottery spot for the race.  To enter the lottery, an athlete must have finished twelve Ironman Brand races.  The problem was that Volker had only done eight at that time.   A natural problem solver, he signed up for 4 Ironman races in 2014, allowing him to qualify for the lottery.   He was fortunate enough to win one of the spots for the 2015 race.

At that point, Kirsten had her own dream of racing with him in Hawaii.  Her only problem was that she needed to qualify.   Like her dad, she is a natural problem solver and went ahead and signed up for more than one Ironman race in an attempt to qualify.

In October of 2015, Kirsten and Volker, along with most of their family including friends from home, traveled to Kailua-Kona to celebrate and support each other.

I was fortunate enough to be there as well, and I sat down after the race to interview Kirsten and Volker.   I interviewed each of them separately about their experience attempting to make it to the race together.

The interviews took place on the lanai of their rental house and you can hear in the background, the birds, the hum of conversation in the house, and an occasional truck.

What makes this interview even more distinct is the fact that Volker passed away two years ago in an unexpected accident while riding his Elliptigo. 

This interview captures a forever moment between a father and daughter bonded by their love for triathlon.  I’m so honored to have been part of their experience together. 

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed recording it.

 

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