The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand


Ironman from Kassel

Martin Huhndorf from Quality Assurance won the Ironman world championship title for the 40–44 age group in Hawaii in October. Colleagues cheered while watching a live broadcast of the event.

Mr. Huhndorf, did you go back to work on the Monday after your Ironman contest?

No, and that would have been difficult to manage in terms of timing on account of the long flight. I took a week off after the race, which included a stopover in New York on the way home from Hawaii.

When you returned to the plant as a world champion, how were you welcomed by your colleagues?

My department gave me a bouquet of flowers full of energy bars. I had eaten 35 of them during the race. The first day back, the only thing I talked about was the race. I share an office with two colleagues, and they really deserve some type of monetary compensation for having to listen to the story so many times.

On his first day back at work after the competition, Martin Huhndorf receives a bouquet of flowers with energy bars from Quality Manager Frank Rybarczyk.

How is it possible to combine a full-time job at Volkswagen with a sport such as the triathlon, which requires so much training?

(Laughs) Sometimes I ask myself that question, too. But joking aside, when preparing for a competition, I sacrifice most of my free time for my sport. Right after work I set off on long cycling sessions, which saves the time I would have spent driving home. This year I haven’t taken a single day of vacation that wasn’t in some way related to Ironman.

Having won a world championship title, would this now be a good time to retire from competition?

On the whole, the idea of defending the world championship title appeals to me. And I have to admit that I’m already beginning to feel the urge to do this. But I don’t want to make any hasty decisions. One thing is clear to me, however: if next year I once again enter the competition in Hawaii, then I will want to have whatever it takes to defend the world championship title.

A long haul

hours – the time Martin Huhndorf needed to cover:

3.86 km

180 km

42.2 km