Denmark’s Rasmus Henning, who is 36 years old, has announced that October’s Ironman World Championship will be the final race of his professional triathlon career. Henning, who has had success at both ITU and long-course non-drafting races, says that he has been considering the decision all year.
“This is a decision that has grown on me during this season and was finally decided within the last weeks since we returned to Denmark this summer after almost two years living at the sports resort Playitas on the Canary Island Fuerteventura,” he said in a press release. “I have been in elite sports for 25 years and have enjoyed much success and I have drawn great experiences from this sport I love. But everything has a price and these past few years I have too often had to let down primarily my family in order to pursue my own goals as an athlete.
“Now feels like the right time to say goodbye to this beautiful sport on the highest level. I have had a great season with three wins, among them a great win in Abu Dhabi in March, plus wins in the Half Challenge Fuerteventura and Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Few things have eluded me in my career that for me has been a fantastic ride since turning professional in 2000. Of course I would have liked to win an Olympic medal and I gave it two shots resulting in a 7th and 8th place in 2004 and 2008. A podium in Hawaii has been a dream since the 2009 season, but I have yet to break the Kona code and will give it one last try this October.”
Henning said the physical toll the sport has taken on his body also weighed into his decision.
“The last few years I have felt how my body has begun to struggle with the hard work I’ve put it through and I have had a lot of problems with my feet and knees the last seasons.,” he said. “It makes you think about the future and that you want to be able to plays sports with friends and family and also be active for the rest of your life, and for me it does not make sense anymore to ignore the signals from my body. You can accept a certain amount of pain and physical problems as a pro athlete in the pursuit of your dreams but I want to stay healthy after my career too. The balance is just not right anymore.”