It was in 2015 when Danny Smuskevich decided to change his life. He was standing on a scale that showed his weight and saw a three-digit number on the screen. He laughs as he recounts the episode. “I said to myself: this cannot continue.” From one day to the next, Danny Smuskiewicz stopped smoking and never drank a drop of alcohol again. He started doing sports again: running, swimming, cycling.
Read also: When the Gladrow Express raced to victory in Rome
Now, seven years later, the 44-year-old has qualified for the 70.3 World Triathlon Championships. On October 29, the Ironman half-distance world championship will be held in St. George, Utah, USA. For Danny Smuskiewicz, it’s the early peak of a crazy ride. And participating in the World Cup, he says, is also a reward for many hours of training in the water, on a bicycle or in running shoes. He trains up to 18 hours a week, plus everything you need to do to be able to do your sport with ambition. Acquaintances say he has incredible structure in his life. Otherwise, he would not be able to reconcile family, work and hobbies.
He used to be very stressed
Only work would fill his daily life. Danny Smuskiewicz is an entrepreneur, for 20 years he has had a scaffolding company with 60 employees on the road throughout Germany. He could sit day and night in the office of the company’s headquarters in Rova, so to speak, there is enough work there. For the first few years, he was almost always sitting in an office or outside on a construction site, always full throttle, always stressed. The fact that seven years ago he finally hit the brakes on a new life is what he now describes as “the best decision of my life”. He knows, says Danny Smuskiewicz, that his situation is certainly privileged. The company is doing great, he has the right people around him.
It is also interesting. ex-shooter Ralph Bartels proves his skills in a new job
“I’ve worked hard to be able to take time out during the day to train,” she says. His days are still hard. The triathlete, who competes for SC Neubrandenburg, wakes up at 4 a.m. to be in the pool by half past five. Then he goes to the office. A second workout usually follows in the late afternoon. He runs 70 to 80 kilometers a week at peak times, plus about 300 kilometers on the bike and a good 9,000 meters in the pool.
The family will accompany him to the US
“I want to finish everything by dinner at the latest, then focus on the family,” says the triathlete, who lives with his wife and two children in Rowa, a small village near Neubrandenburg. Family is above everything, without them nothing would be possible. “I know that sometimes I put a lot on my wife with sports. I am even more grateful that he supports me in this way,” he says.
Read more. The runner from Neubrandenburg became the champion of Switzerland
The family will be there for the big World Cup adventure in the USA at the end of October. Danny Smuskiewicz says he’s in good shape. He can only describe from stories what awaits him in Saint George. “It’s very hot out there now and the track is probably several meters high. As always, I’ll do my best and then we’ll see what happens.” The SCN athlete punched his ticket to Utah in October 2021 at the 70.3 Ironman in Sardinia, Italy, where he crossed the finish line in 4:54.07. His best time is 4:28. “I have worked for this World Cup for three years. Participation is the reward this time. Now I’m looking forward to the start,” says Danny Smuskevich.
The plane flies to Las Vegas on Monday, a two-hour drive to St. George. On October 29, the biggest race of his life will finally take place. What’s next? Logically, does the whole Ironman follow the half Ironman; that legendary 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run at the end. Danny Smuskevich smiles. “Of course, ‘Iron Man’ appeals to me, including in Hawaii,” he says. After the 70.3 World Championships in Utah, he wants to take a break from the sport and then look for new goals.