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Philipp Kloeber: a Journey of Passion and Perseverance

Philipp Kloeber: a Journey of Passion and Perseverance

Meet Philipp Kloeber, a dual citizen of Germany and Australia who has settled in Singapore. Amidst the vibrant urban landscape, Philipp is not only successfully navigating the corporate world but also carving his path in the realm of triathlon. With an upcoming slate of races including the T100 Singapore, and Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupō, New Zealand, Philipp's journey in triathlon is one fueled by passion, performance and perseverance. We interviewed him to find out more about his triathlon journey and aspirations. 

Captivated by Sheer Grit

Initially rooted in a background of running and strength training, Philipp found himself drawn into the multisport world during his time in Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by Rich Roll's "Finding Ultra" and captivated by the sheer grit displayed by athletes like Patrick Lange in conquering the Kona Ironman World Championship, Philipp took up road cycling and afterwards freestyle swimming in 2017 while still living in Melbourne, Australia. While Philipp was an experienced scuba diver and had completed a few marathons, he had to learn from scratch how to cycle on a TT bike and swim freestyle. 

What followed was a journey into the world of triathlon that would constantly push his limits in ways he never imagined. Over the past five years, Philipp has amassed an impressive array of race experiences and various podium finishes. Among these, Ironman 70.3 Langkawi in 2022 holds a special place in his heart. It was at this race that Philipp clinched the runner-up podium spot in his age group, marking a significant milestone in his triathlon career. 

Fueling the Triathlon Passion

For Philipp, the appeal of triathlon lies in its multifaceted nature. From the adrenaline rush and animalistic feeling of running to the meditative rhythm of swimming and the diverse skills required for TT cycling, each discipline offers its unique set of thrills and challenges. Outside of each discipline though, it's the holistic experience that truly captivates Philipp.

“There’s many reasons why I love triathlon, but to summarise the main ingredients: it’s the feeling of freedom, exerting meaning from struggle, pushing perceived limitations, constantly improving the best version of yourself, connecting to nature and awesome human beings, all whilst traveling to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Through the passion and vulnerabilities we share in practicing triathlon, we connect people across geographies, religions, languages as well as personal and professional backgrounds and age”, said Philipp.

Race Day Memories

One of Philipp's cherished memories is podium-finishing Ironman 70.3 Langkawi, Malaysia, in 2022. Despite a less satisfying performance in 2019, he was determined to return stronger and that he did! Working hard on each discipline together with his coach, Juergen Zaeck of Z-Coaching, during the Covid pandemic, Philipp returned in 2022 and clinched the runner-up spot in his age group and 11th overall among 600 athletes. This victory qualified him for the World Championships in St George, USA and reinforced his belief in the power of perseverance. Philipp said, “If you believe in yourself, ignore the naysayers, work consistently to improve,  and move on fast from setbacks (of which there are usually tons), there is nothing that can stop you.”

Conversely, the Ironman 70.3 in Davao, Philippines, in 2023, was one that was punctuated by adversity. Coming straight from a work trip in winter Europe to hot and humid Davao, he was eager to perform well but a series of unfortunate events, including a swim course mishap and a harrowing bike crash amid horrendous road conditions required treatment in hospital. While receiving treatment Philipp witnessed the passing of a fellow athlete who suffered a cardiac arrest during the swim leg. This experience served as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and is one that he will not forget.

The Triathlon Balancing Act

Balancing the demands of a high-pressure consulting career with frequent traveling, with the rigors of triathlon training is no small feat, yet Philipp approaches it with unwavering determination. With the support of his spouse Jane (a fellow sports enthusiast who he refers to as his backbone) and their beloved dog Gibbs, Philipp navigates the complexities of constantly competing priorities with grace and resilience.

“Another important aspect is diet – I have been plant-based for over 8 years now. The benefits of this lifestyle have been significant, from increased energy-levels, to better mood and faster recovery – changing to a vegan lifestyle has been one of the top three decisions I have made in my life thus far,” said Philipp.

For Philipp, motivation stems not from external accolades or recognition but from an intrinsic desire to continually evolve and improve. Whether he's pounding the pavement, slicing through the water, or conquering challenging terrain on his bike, each training session is a testament to his unwavering commitment to self-improvement.

On race day, Philipp's routine begins with an early rise, setting the alarm for at least three hours before the starting gun. His pre-race fuel of choice? Overnight oat milk soaked oats, generously adorned with peanut butter and banana slices. With sustenance in hand, Philipp transitions into his race gear, mentally preparing himself for the challenge ahead. Battling pre-race nerves, he finds solace on the hotel room balcony, where 20-30 minutes of quiet reflection set the stage for a successful day on the course.

Advice to Newbie Triathletes 

To aspiring triathletes, Philipp offers a simple yet profound piece of advice: “just start”. 

“Embrace the journey, relish the challenges, and celebrate the victories, however small they may seem. Triathlon isn't just a sport; it's a transformative journey that transcends physical boundaries and connects individuals in profound ways,” said Philipp. 

Beyond Triathlon

Dream relay team: If given the chance to form a relay team with any triathlete in the world, Philipp would choose local Singapore-based athlete, Arjun Kandikuppa and Benedikt Steinheuer. Their unique personalities, shared passion for triathlon and infectious humor make them ideal teammates. 

Favorite cartoon character: As for a cartoon character, Philipp reminisces about his childhood favorites, He-Man, Skeletor, and Battle Cat. 

Dream locale: When envisioning his dream location to live, Singapore and Thailand hold special allure. 

Bucket list: Beyond triathlon, Philipp's bucket list includes reigniting his passion for scuba diving, a thrilling pursuit he's eager to revisit one day. 

Follow Philipp's  journey with Purpose at

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