Pole vaulting, the aim of which is to jump over a crossbar with the help of a long flexible pole, is considered to be one of the most complicated and technically demanding motions in track and field athletics. Pole vault performance is basically influenced by the energy exchange between the vaulter and pole. It depends on the sprinting, jumping and acrobatic abilities of the athlete. Less well-known, but just as exciting and fascinating, is pole vaulting for distance. The aim in this sports event, named fierljeppen in the Frisian language, is to jump as far as possible with the help of a long pole. Athletes reach heights of 11.5 m and the record jumping distance is currently 22.21 m. In this paper, we present a simplified mathematical model of the motion of vaulter and pole based on classical mechanics. This model helps us understand the dynamics of pole vaulting for distance and optimize the athlete's performance by looking for the optimal speed of running-up toward the pole and the optimal release angle.