Interview with Defending Champion, Frederic Funk

Why do you enjoy racing here so much?
First of all it’s my home race, I grew up just over the border in Germany 15km from Walchsee. I love racing in the mountains, they always seem to give me some extra energy.

What are your favourite training routes in the region for both the bike and run?
Literally any road in the Kaiserwinkl Region is great for cycling. I love the actual race course for training as well. It’s really demanding but makes you fit as hell! My favourite run routes are in my hometown Unterwössen on the German side. There are a lot of possibilities like flat alongside a beautiful river or sometimes I even go straight up the mountains.

With the hat trick in your sights, will you approach this year’s race any differently to previously?
I was hopeful I scared the competition away and this year is going to be easy 😉 But it’s probably one of the strongest fields yet so I should trust in my abilities and be confident on that course but shouldn’t get too excited too early in the race.

What tips do you have for those racing here for the first time?
The second bike lap gets really tough so keep that in mind on the swim and first bike lap and save some energy. Also practice your technical abilities on the bike because it’s a really technical course. You will not only be more safe around the corners but also lose a lot less speed.

How would you describe Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee to someone who’s never been here?
Swimming in crystal clear and calm water in a mountain lake. The bike course has a bit of everything: climbs, technical descents, Time Trial sections. All surrounded by the most beautiful mountain panorama. Four run laps around the lake which are hilly as well but with so many spectators and great volunteers. All rounded off with a great finish line buffet!

What are the most important things for you to do in race week?
Simply to keep up with my typical taper and training routine. Check the course and eat a lot of carbs the days before the race 🙂