When the starting pistol fires on the 2018 edition of Ironman Switzerland in Zurich on July 29, 2018, all eyes will be on one man: Swiss triathlon legend Ronnie Schildknecht. A nine-time winner of the event, the local hero is now intent on reaching double figures.
With the exception of last year’s event, when Ronnie retired from the race during the run with a calf muscle problem, the 38-year-old has won Ironman Switzerland every time he has started.
The nine victories would be consecutive but for one race, in 2014, when Ronnie chose to instead compete at Ironman Frankfurt in order to ensure he gained enough points to compete in that year’s Ironman World Championships, held as always in Kona, Hawaii.
Good luck to Ronnie. Have a look at his previous race results below. We cross our fingers for win number 10:
Ironman Switzerland Race Results
Ronnie’s preparations for his assault on the 10th crown are going well, as was evidenced when he took the title at the TriStar 55.5 Triathlon Switzerland in Rohrschach on July 15, 2018. The event sees participants cover a variation of the traditional sprint distance, competing in a 500-meter swim, a 50-kilometer (311 mile) bike ride and five kilometer (3.1 mile) run.
“I think the event in Rohrschach was the perfect preparation for Ironman Switzerland,” Ronnie said.” I came straight from training in the alps so it was a great way to end my last hard week of training.”
Any rivals thinking Ronnie’s hunger to win Ironman Switzerland might have waned after ten years would be mistaken.
“I don’t look back, I always look what's in front. I need the challenge for myself. It's great what I already achieved, and I enjoyed every win, but when I stand on the start line I don’t care what I’ve done before. “
And of course, it [Ironman Switzerland] is my home race and I love to race in front of my friends and family. Also, over the years I was able to experience so many great emotions, so it is a very special race for me.”
Asked about the key to staying at the top of the game for so long, Ronnie points to avoiding complacency and learning from the setbacks – like his retirement from the event last year.
“I try to stay humble and take nothing for granted. I also love to push myself to the limit during the whole process. At last year’s event I was really disappointed, but at the same time I knew I did everything right and it was not in my power to change anything. So after a few days I was fine. It showed me what I already knew: That we are all human and you can’t control everything. But also to give everything and leave the rest aside.”
So, what would it mean for Ronnie to finally take that 10th Ironman Switzerland title?
“It’s my main goal of the season next to the Ironman World Championships. It would mean a lot. I am not really a numbers guy, but 10 wins would be pretty cool.
Editor's update: Ronnie finished 5th at Ironman Switzerland 2018. While a tenth win at the event will have to wait for another year, the result sealed his qualification for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in October 2018. Watch this space for exclusive updates as Ronnie and other On athletes go for the ultimate prize in long-distance triathlon this autumn.