How the love of the sport led to the love of the life

How the love of the sport led to the love of the life
Christine Herchet and Guido Hoffstadt got married today and on sunday they both will start in the long-distance race 

There are many ways to say “I Do”: The classic way in church or the American way in Las Vegas. With many guests or just with the closest family. Or you do it like Christine Herchet and Guido Hoffstadt: The triathlon way. On Friday morning, the two athletes from Koblenz said their “I do” at the city hall in Roth. On Sunday, they will enter the Challenge long-distance-race as “the Hoffstadts”. Each for himself, but not alone. It is the story of two athletes, a story that might sound familiar to many endurance athletes. About how the sport can drive people apart, because it takes up so much time. This is what happened to the 48-year-old Key Account Manager and the 46-year-old IT-Project Manager.

Both were in relationships for many years with people who “were not into endurance sports.” tells Guido Hoffstadt. He was already riding in the mid 90s in the „Trans-Alp“ race, a mountain bike race across the Alps. This, in 2000, led him to triathlon and to his first start as the swimmer for a relay team in Roth in 2004. Then in 2014 the did the whole long-distance-race in Frankfurt. Ever since, he has been dreaming about doing the same in Roth. At the beginning of last years he then got separated from his partner. ”After 20 years. I always thought of my sport as my second life, until I realized that it was my first life. That's when we got separated.”

For Christine Herchet it was a similar story. She had been single for a while when, a few weeks prior to Challenge Roth 2016, she got registered at an online relationship website. “I was basically looking for someone to work out with, instead of always doing it alone.” That's how the 46-year-old, who has to travel constantly for her job explains her motivation to try this kind of website.

That was in a time when she was heavily training for her first long-distance race: the Challenge Roth. So she listed “biking and skiing” as must-have characteristics for potential partners. It was a coincidence that Guido Hoffstadt got registered at the same website at the same time. Someone looking for a partner to bike and ski? That sounded promising. He answered and “my first online date was going to be my last online date” he says with a big smile. They chatted for half the night, the next day they met for coffee and a couple of days later for the first rounds on the bike.”Everything just clicked. From the first moment.”

Three weeks later, Guido Hoffstadt accompanied „Chrissie“ to the Challenge Roth and all the way through the race until she finished after 14:40 hours. “I didn't care about the time. I just wanted to finish as good as possible.” That plan worked. “It was an incredible experience” she says when remembering her first long-distance race. The unique atmosphere in Roth, the excitement everywhere, all the people along the course: those were some of the factor that made it such a great memory. The other important factor was having Guido by her side to accompany and support her. They had known each other for only 3 weeks then. And then, on Monday at the award ceremony for 2016, they were both able to secure single starter spots for 2017. That was the next moment of pure joy. At that time they were already a couple – and they stayed together. “I think Christine somehow suspected that I would ask for her hand at this year's race.“ says Guido Hoffstadt. Nothing unusual. By now, Team Challenge, receives many music requests for planned proposals. Hoffstadt: „That was too cheesy for my taste.” So he just popped the question at a date-night in February 2017. He even had prepared champagne and got down on one knee. She said yes without any hesitation. However, they wanted to make it official in Roth, because of their passion for triathlon. They agreed on that and on the fact, that 07.07.17 would make a beautiful wedding date. And also a date that comes just before they are finally able to realize their dream of starting (and finishing) the Challenge Roth together. Their tactic for the race is already set: “We want to finish happy and healthy as a married couple.” The getting married part was done by Friday, about the rest, well see on Sunday.

The newlyweds say hello: Guido Hoffstat and wife Christine, who until Friday went by the last name of Herchet. On Sunday they will both be at the starting line of the Challenge 


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