FCSP amateur departments: Triathlon

Posted: February 24, 2015 by FCSP Athens South End Scum in Interviews, Triathlon
Tags: , , , ,



After the Dart Pirates kick off, next stop is towards a competely different direction. In other words, after using the “easy” path of darts to enter the world of sports (an alien environment to the Scum 🙂 ), we’re now moving towards more advanced levels and, after taking a closer look to our very next choice, this is a BIG leap! Dear FCSP (and probably completely unsuspected) fans, South End Scum presents St. Pauli Triathlon!


Triathlon is not a joke… Swimming, cycling, running, all involved, a combination enough to impose terror to some… ( 😀 ). Seriously, it doesn’t look like the easiest sport to practice even though Mick (responsible for the department communication), who was kind enough to accept our invitation, seems to have a completely different view on the subject. Read about this and a lot more in the small interview below:

The Triathlon department exists already for 6 years, counting more than 270 (wow) members. Could you provide with a short story of the department? Were already people practicing the sport that approached the Club in the first place or the story started from a club initiative?

Well before the founding of the Triathlon department, there were many FC St. Pauli fans that were active triathletes. After years of toying with the idea, eventually a group of triathletes who were also members of the Cycling department pushed for the official registration. The public announcement in favor of establishing a triathlon department received a lot of positive feedback from the fans; however, the former President Corny Littmann was not really onboard. He considered the FC St. Pauli as only a football club and has long banned the foundation of new department. The fans were able to overcome his resistance and on 15 Jan 2009, the Triathlon Department of FC St. Pauli was established with more than 40 founding members.

St. Pauli Triathlon seems quite active, having a lot of squads in different categories. Biggest department sporting successes throughout these years?

Oh that’s hard to say. Each member has his/her own story. Personally, I just joined St. Pauli because I was overweight and wanted to lose 20 kilos. I was active in the football fan scene and triathlon seemed like a good place for me to start losing weight. The club was supportive of all sports(wo)men, regardless of their goals.

As a team, we start every year with several teams in the Hamburg Triathlon League, which is the lowest league. Each year has had varying levels of success, but regardless of performance it’s always a great feeling when we take about 30 people to each of the six league races and cheer each other on – even the last team member to finish is supported – she or he gets our large FC St. Pauli flag and crossed the finish line with a thunderous cheer!

Triathlon is not considered the cheapest of sports in terms of equipment – bikes, wetsuits, running shoes, etc. Is the support from the Club enough, or are there any department sponsors or you need to put your hand in the pocket from time to time?

As with all hobbies, there are endless possibilities to spend lots of money, but you do not need much. Basically, you need a swimsuit, a bike, helmet and running shoes. A good second-hand bike will also get you to the finish line! We have also began to start collecting equipment that we can loan to members who need a little extra support, and members are encouraged to donate used equipment. We don’t want financial concerns keeping any athlete, young or old, away from our sport!

We do not have any sponsors. While there are some other amateur clubs who have sponsors, our members have clearly decided against sponsoring and advertising and anchored it in our founding documents. Instead of training and competing with a corporate logo on our tri-suits, we donated the space to “Hinz & Kunzt“, a local Hamburg magazine that supports the homeless. We also make many donations to local charitable institutions. A large proportion of the revenue from our annual “(Critical) X-mas (s) Run” is also donated


270 members only in the FCSP department, a number almost comparable to the total number of people practicing triathlon in the entire Athens area 🙂 Is this an FCSP thing or is triathlon so popular in Germany?

Triathlon has grown in popularity here over the past decade. FCSP Triathlon now has more than 380 members, making us the third largest triathlon club in Hamburg. A big boon to the sport locally is the annual Hamburg Triathlon. Since 2002, both an Olympic Distance (1.5 Swim – 40 Bike – 10 Run) and Sprint Distance (0.5 Swim – 20 Bike – 5 Run) race takes place in the heart of Hamburg. The race is now not only the largest amateur triathlon in the world, but also so popular that the starting places sell out quickly. Sadly, the high demand has also driven the price up to 130 Euros, well beyond what many of our members can afford. Luckily there are plenty of other alternative races around Hamburg.

Triathlon is probably one of the hardest sports to practice (probably 2nd only to the Marathon in the list of the FCSP amateur sports). On the other hand, according to the FCSP Triathlon website (Q&A) section, there are no special requirements in order to join (except the acceptance of the Club rules, we suppose). Are there any “health” requirements for anybody interested?

First of all you have to demystify the sport a little bit. Many think of the word “triathlon” and think of the sweltering heat of Hawaii, and super-athletes covering an inhuman distance of 226 km (3.8 swim -180 bike – 42,2 run) in under eight hours (yes, an Ironman ends with a marathon!). But, there are many different distances, ranging from sprint distances of 500m swimming, 20 km cycling and a 5 km run. If you approach the sport realistically, most men or women can complete a sprint distance. That being said, it does not hurt to play it safe and consult your doctor before you start a new sport.

Any people among you involved in other FCSP departments (Cycling for example)?

There are many triathletes who still have another membership in the club. Of course, many people are here due to their love of football and are in the “Department of Supporting Members “(AFM), but we also have many who have also become members of the Marathon or Cycling department. I myself am also a member of the Boxing department! 🙂 There is also a lot of inter-departmental cooperate and often with the Cycling department. We often travel together to bike races and every year we organize a joint training camp on Mallorca.


Does the life of a Triathlon athlete and sweet habits like Jolly go together???

Anniversary-, Christmas- and End of Season-Parties proves one thing: triathletes can also party hardy. Beer is the fourth discipline of many members 🙂 Of course, all have their own individual goals for the season and everyone has to decide what goes into his/her body, but every week you can see many members of our department in the stadium, at away games or in Jolly itself.

Any clever “technical” tip for beginners that want to start training?

I am not a trainer, but I would say: have fun and don’t over-do it! Many want to start of racing a long distance, but it takes a lot of time to get used to that much physical exertion. From my experience, very few triathletes come from swimming, but rather come to the sport from cycling or running. If that is the case for you, the best beginner’s tip I can give is “go learn how to swim!” Endurance is not everything in the water – it`s all about technique. At the same time, swimming is such a good work out that you train the whole body, which prepares you for cycling and the running track. Train for 3 months 5-6 hours per week and then start on a sprint distance. With a little luck you’re infected by the triathlon virus!


Any future plans or expectations for the department?

I was speaking earlier about competitions in and around Hamburg. In addition to also mentioned “(Critical) Xmas (s) Run“, we will be organizing the Central Park Τriathlon for the first time this year. It is the oldest triathlon in Hamburg. The previous organizer handed over control to us, and the city approved the transfer! Within the department there are a lot of dedicated members who have been planning the triathlon for months, so the city’s approval was a relief. The official approval arrived at the end of January and we were happy to announce the 16th Park City Triathlon will take place 14 June 2015. We also plan to reduce the entry fee from 34 to 32 euros, in stark contrast to the  big brother, “ITU Triathlon Hamburg“. The race will not only be part of the Hamburg League, but it will also be open to amateur triathletes and our Kid’s Triathlon. We have organized a Kid’s Triathlon for 4 years at the Millerntorstadion, but now we are incredibly excited to move it to the greener park. The 14th of June is going to be an exciting day! 🙂

Free section, you can add here anything you like or we should but forgot to ask 🙂

If you’re around the corner and wanna „try tri“ at the 14th of June – be our guests! We’ll take care of the equipment …. and of the beer!

You’ll never swim, bike & run alone!!!


Thanks again to Mick for an interview that ended up more than we were bargaining for 🙂 There are A LOT MORE on their website (information on all departments – and there are quite many of them, events and a lot of action), for anybody either too lazy to get into the details (difficult if he/she made it here!), there’s also key information on the FCSP official website (which is rather short and obsolete), fuck this and visit the site! Best wishes for a successful and victorious as possible June 14th and their even more ambitious plans, that we’re quite sure that follow immediately afterwards 🙂

You’ll never swim, bike and run alone – VIVA FCSP Triathlon, FORZA FCSP!!!


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