Daniela Bleymehl was just proud after her triumph at the Ironman in Frankfurt, Paul Schuster wasn’t really happy about fourth place. The emotional state of the two triathlon aces from Darmstadt could hardly have been more different on Sunday after swimming 3.86 kilometers, cycling 180.2 kilometers and the final marathon over 42.195 kilometers.

“I’m so glad I made it through. I couldn’t have done it without the spectators,” said Bleymehl, who gave birth to her second child last year. “If I had known that a year ago, I would have taken it immediately. It’s just unbelievable,” she said of her feelings.

In 9:02:55 hours, the 33-year-old, who had thought about giving up several times during the race, crossed the finish line with a large lead over Brit Nikki Bartlett. There she collapsed, exhausted. “I was away for a bit,” reported Bleymehl. “I felt nauseous on the second lap of the bike and then when I ran from 15 kilometers onwards. I’m proud that I pulled it off,” said the winner.

Unlike the women, the men in Frankfurt were also fighting for the European title. All the more Schuster struggled with the outcome of the classic on the Main. “Of course it’s bitter when you’re in front and fourth,” said the 33-year-old. “I took a risk and ended up stumped.”

In the absence of the world elite around three-time world champion Jan Frodeno, Frenchman Denis Chevrot became European champion. The 34-year-old triathlete clearly prevailed in 7:52:54 hours ahead of Poland’s Robert Wilkowiecki and his compatriot Clement Mignon. For Chevrot, who had replaced Schuster as the leader for almost half of the running distance, it was the third Ironman victory in his career.