What started out as ‘Tessa who had to start exercising with pleasure again’ quickly grew into a fanatical, groundbreaking Tessa, but still with a lot of fun!
I grew up in Voorhout, a small village near the westcoast of The Netherlands, as the youghest of a sportive family with 3 brothers and a sister. I went on with swimming after I learned it as little kid. My grandpa Egbert van ’t Oever was well known in the ice speedskating world, so soon the ´irons´ were tied around my feet. At the age of 11 I discovered the roadbike and changed my swimsuit for it. Two years later I won the National Youth Championships and putted on the Dutch red-white-blue jersey, a year later I successfully defended it!
With skating, on my 18th, I made the switch from ´long track´ to marathons, I wasn´t good enough on the short distance. After a successful first year, I was unfortunately struck by Pfeiffer’s disease, a virus in my blood what made me very tired all day long. Since then I´ve never been able to reach the level that I had before and I lost the fun in the sport. I just messed up a little, but in one way or another I wasn´t happy about it either. In early 2016 I decided to become a member of the triathlon club. I thought this maybe should make me come back into the right flow. From that moment everything started and went on with a hugh speed, which I sometimes couldn´t follow…
I participated in some popular competitions in the region and climbed on the podium time after time. I became more and more fanatic and my converted race / time trial bike really wasn´t good enough anymore. There has to become a new one so I could get even harder! I started at the Dutch Championship Triathlon 1/2 distance (1.9km swimming, 90km cycling and 21km running) and finished 4th in my agegroup! After two more races with this distance it quickly didn´t felt like a real challenge anymore. Time to become an: Ironman! 3.8km swimming, 180km cycling and 42km running! With the ultimate goal to qualify for the World Championships on Hawaii! I set my goals on Ironman Lanzarote 2017, but didn´t made it to the finishline (dehydrated). I learned my lesson, recovered quickly and went on for Ironman Maastricht-The Netherlands two months later. I was rewarded after hard work: winner in my agegroup and qualified for WC IRONMAN HAWAII!
Still as an agegrouper in 2018, I followed nearly the same steps as the season before, but with my new coach I made a huge progress. I had a good race at Ironman Lanzarote, my hometown now. Again some stomach problems on the run, but it wasn’t good enough for qualification for WC Hawaii anyway. I became 2nd in my agegroup. Again I decided to race Ironman Maastricht to qualify, which happened in a nearly perfect race and a personal best! We head of to triathlonheaven Hawaii again and for this you really have to read my racereport / blog. In a new course record of 9:36:27 I became WORLD CHAMPION agegroup 30-34!
I decided to go for the real work and turned PRO in 2019. At Ironman South Africa I had a great debute and became 6th in a strong field of professionals. Again I wanted to shine on Lanzarote, but mecanical problems on the bike messed up my race. While I tried to recover some time on the bike, I actually destroyed my legs and was unable to run a strong marathon. Full focus was on the national championships long distance in The Netherlands, but unfortunately I had to pull out halfway the bike leg because of stomach problems, which I already had during the raceweek. I cleared my mind and decided to travel to Malaysia for the Ironman as I didn’t wanted to finish my season with a DNF. What happened there still feels like it was a dream. In the last part of the marathon I took the lead and I crossed the finishline as the IRONMAN MALAYSIA CHAMPION! And with this victory I secured my slot for the World Championships on Hawaii!
A dream is coming true but I must be patient, the edition of 2020 is cancelled, but the goal is still there: October 9, 2021!