The triathlon world championships 2016 on the Big Island of Hawaii have been a turning point in my life. After 12 years of sponsoring events and athletes made the decision - not an easy one - to distance myself from this sport, a sport which had turned into such a big business that I with my little BIESTMILCH company could not keep up the pace with.
The introduction of digital cameras to the marketplace changed our work tremdously. Nevertheless it took time to develop our on style. The ability of good tory-telling, eyes able of a good framing cannot the most sophisticated technical equippement cannot compensate for. I was lucky we were a team of talents, endurance, courage and passion.
Over many years we supported athletes to build up their own brand. This work helped to create brand awareness, but sales couldn't keep up with our expenses. Today all of ventured out on different paths. I began to tell other stories, no athletes' operas anymore. Today with social media on the broadcats level everybody can go live at any time, the right time for us to change our way of working.
Doing an easy run, Macca and the boys on the Queen K Highway 2010
From the days when my team and I were right in the center of the sport. This was 2010. Chris McCormack won his second world champion title on the Big Island of Hawaii. Triathlon was still a different beast compared to today.
The work was fun and Chris a great protagonist for our filming work.
Chis Mccormack winning IRONMAN Frankfurt 2008, oh sweet memories.
I had the honor to be on the Roemer Balcony, reserved for special guests only. Not even media were allowed on this balcony. But Fritz joined me with the camera. On this day the white card was ours. I think this video clip is a very special historical document.
Since years no Frankfurt IRONMAN winner is celebrated on the balcony anymore. Times have changed.
Sad in somehow but a relief too. Since then I take a different view on racing events giving me the freedom to catch the perspective I want. No chasing after special athletes anymore, no expo booths anymore where we spent endless hours trying to convince people with the most weird and bizarre mindsets and preconceptions.The big cooperates are singing their songs so loudly and monotonously that a soft and modulated voice cannot get through to the ears of the audience.
Already in 2016 my race report from Hawaii was different. 2017 then was the 100% volte-face.
In the end all alone
In the end our team melted down to two persons only Kjell and myself. This was tough, sweating was our most loyal companion. As our resources became less and less, self-exploitation increased in parallel. I remember in 2006 I was alone on the Big Island trying to be part of this event too. But back then I still saw bright horizon lying ahead of me. I did the promotion at the pier with some kind help of German friends, and I started the first podcast with a NOKIA mobile phone, the first of its kind.
In 2016 I had realized that I had to stop the kind of investment we did over 12 years: promotion with tees, tatoos, swim caps, standing alone shop, expo booth... filming our sponored athletes trying to get the most out of our money (of course, this list is incomplete).
A day that happened to be the race day of the triathlon world championship on Hawaii 2016.
After 12 years of triathlon world championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, my eyes have been tired of seeing this competition from the same angle again. You might assume that this race as such with its suspense would be compensating for the boredom on the one side. But honestly, I have to disappoint you, it can’t, too long are the hours I have to wait for some tiny excitement in early afternoon. Therefore I took another standpoint in 2016, the one of an innocent bystander passing by at random. I hope you enjoy my race lyrics.
It happened to be my dear friend Kjell’s last time with me on the island. I didn’t know it, but I felt it. He had been with me for 10 years. And it turned out to be the end of BIESTMILCH’s long sponsoring era in of triathlon athletes and events.
In 2017 everything had changed, especially my attitude and approach. On the race day I went down to the event from our hide-away house on the old coffee road. No swim start, not getting up so early, driving down the Kaiminani Drive at round about 7.30am to the Queen K Highway watching the bikes hustling out to Hawi, the policemen delicately structuring the traffic flow, the spectators walking out their dogs, the birds obviously ignoring the fuss.
After this episode Ralf who had joined me that year went home for breakfast hitting the Highway again around noon to watch the bikes come in and finally the runners heading for the Energy Lab. The heat by then is burning the asphalt and athletes show the signs of suffering even for those who have no idea of the this sport.
Exclusive interview with Mark before the race
We had just bought our new beach cruisers to increase our mobility on race day, when we were so lucky to get the great opportunity to interview Mr Mark Hughes, the future of the sport of retro triathlon.
The first road Biest was born in 2013
After the first Biest had hit the asphalt of Kona, they started spreading all over the place. But over night some of them had discretely disappeared. What had happened. They changed side and ganged up with the skate boarders.
Sad memories from 2012
The prototype of our CUBE. It was buried on theBig Island of Hawaii in 2017. Our magic CUBE was a tricky but beautiful creature. Dedicated to Friedrich Zorn, Herwig Steiner, Kjell Schiöberg & Holger Tom Schad
Race day = BIEST BOOSTER day
Kona has been tough for our team all the years through. But Kona 2102 was especially energy consuming, with an expo booth, our own store and promotion activities, video shooting, instagram photo session, and a regular photo shooting on top.
Testing some Hawaiian music instruments
Hawaiians make instruments from every plant that grows a fruit with a sounding body. Even absolute beginners can squeeze out funny sounds out of them. We bought some for the athletes we sponsored.
This triathlon is the 2nd important race in this sport. As being the competition in front of my door for many years, I have been there since 2003, on small and big scales. As a spectator in 2003 watching Lothar Leder with BIESTMILCH.com on his visor winning this inaugural race. The following years the BIESTMILCH expo booth kept me long hours busy there.
What do you actually still see, if you have been somewhere for the same reason for 14 years in a row? This was the case for me at the IRONMAN Frankfurt 2017 this year. Okay, I could have told myself ”enough is enough”, I simply don’t go there anymore.
But on the other hand I wanted to Sebastian Kienle and Andi Boecherer racing each other. Until the very moment when I touched down on race grounds, I didn’t really know what I was going tell. For myself I can say I was lucky in the end I managed to tell a story. I put it in a nutshell here, and call the whole video essay »this is no race report and reflects the fact that Biestmilch is more than triathlon« …
I was the European chaperon of Chris McCormack sharing his win 2008 on the Roemer balcony in Frankfurt. Definitely a climax in my Biestmilch life! It was also Frankfurt where we started our film work and our film work started.
We stopped the expo appearances, did podcasts instead and collected footage of our sponsored athletes. Our official collaborations with IRONMAN started 3 years ago. The video clip Frankfurt 2016 takes yet another viewpoint on this race and indicates already the change in our way of filming. We think it’s time for a change. The eye gets tired by seeing things from the same perspective.
And yet another view on Frankfurt and the triathlon in 2017
What to do that my eyes don’t fall into a lull and the camera in my hand turns into an image collector without a storyline instead of collecting the images for a story already alive in my head. Until the very moment when I touched down on race grounds, I didn’t really know what I was going tell.
For myself I can say I was lucky in the end I managed to tell a story. I put it in a nutshell here, and call the whole video essay »this is no race report and reflects the fact that Biestmilch is more than triathlon« … If we watch these mega events as a casual bystander, we may sense the rays these spectacles send out beyond the loud happiness, namely, that we have a massive security issue, that we definitely eat too much and that our cross-species relations are weird…
In 2018 I took the easy way out. It was a last minute decision to fly into Frankfurt on the Sunday of the triathlon European Championship. I arrived 10:30am the same day, Ralf picked me up and we drove into Frankfurt City dropped the car, and watched the race, only the running leg, from the terrace of a restaurant along the run course and the river Main while we had a late breakfast. There was a big screen that made it easy for us to catch up with the race as it progressed. Of course, I had the camera on alert the whole time.
Maybe you enjoy the result of this almost carelessly relaxed approach to the event.
I definitely don't want to say goodbye to the sport. Never before in my life I looked at sports from a scientific viewpoint. I just did it, to quote NIKE. For me 2001 one was a turning point in this respect. A long learning process was kicked off.
In the future I plan to look even closer on the physiology of workouts and endurance. Delving into the physiology of inflammation opened a completely different field of research for me. Very exciting and still so untouched.
How time flies: Biestmilch's triathlon year of 2011 in brief
This video is a thanks to the great group of athletes and a thanks to an awesome Biestmilch crew that made it possible to own a video of this special kind. Enjoy the memories.
Wow, what a hype, get in line!
Biestmilch's autograph session in Frankfurt 2011. For many years we organized autograph sessions before the Pasta Party.
Meike Krebs, Nicole Leder, Yvonne van Vlerken, Sebastian Kienle, Ronnie Schildknecht and Chris McCormack
Ironman Germany 2010: Scenes beyond the finish line
Many an athlete was tempted to push too hard, and at the end of the day on the 4th loop on the run course, suffering for many started, be it Chris Macca McCormack, Yvonne van Vlerken, Nicole Leder or Meike Krebs.
Chilling out after IRONMAN Frankfurt, 2010
Looking back today, it feels like decades ago. The sport of triathlon was still a niche sport. Lothar Leder one of the first stars of triathlon, first man under eight hour in 1996, had just reteired and Chris McCormack was on the climax of his career.
Hey, guys, you want water?
Macca and Ronnie joking in our Biestmilch van while the rest of the bunch were still running home. Macca was right to quit the training run in time. He won the championships 2010.