That Erik would end up in the sport of triathlon was not exactly a foregone conclusion. As a child, he had a severe form of asthmatic bronchitis, which hindered him a great deal from playing sports. However, his father was once a gifted decathlete and took his kids to the track. There, Erik actually turned out to have a knack for middle distances.

He grew over the disease and at the age of eighteen he even managed to run a National Championship final at the A-juniors in the 5,000 meters. We are talking late 1980s and the sport of triathlon is on the rise. Once again, his father proves to be a booster in the love for multisports: they compete together twice in the quarter triathlon in Holten (1988 and 1989) and in 1989, as a junior, Erik even comes in second overall at the triathlon in Hengelo.

"Then my student years began and the focus went to other things. The love for sports turned into love for the pub, in retrospect perhaps a shame.... but had a super fun time," Erik looks back on that period without regret. During that time he was also behind the turntables at various major festivals and discotheques as a techno and acid DJ. In terms of sports, he switched to volleyball.

"That volleyball was super fun, but at 1.82 I was on the small side to really play higher up. When I put volleyball on the back burner after the age of 30 and my clothes got tighter and tighter, a reality check on the scales followed: I now weighed almost a hundred pounds."

That was in 2007 and the then-mid-thirties decided to change course. To lose weight by consistently running and cycling again. After a year of hard training and more than twenty kilos lighter, the reward followed by signing up for the Twenthe Triathlon Tour. "I couldn't swim a meter, after four laps I was hanging on the edge of the pool panting. But I was sold. What a cool sport!"

A vacation to Lanzarote led to the ambition to do a once in a lifetime triathlon on that island. And then the triathlon virus definitely struck: by now the counter stands at six completed full triathlons and twenty half triathlons. Erik tries to combine that with a family life with three sporting young children, so he has set himself a limit of no more than ten hours of training per week.

Key races for Erik in 2023:

21-05 Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau

25-06 Challenge Roth

27-08 Ironman 70.3 World Championships Lahti

09-09 European Championship Long Distance Almere

08-12 Ironman 70.3 Bahrain

Erik Lentfert