On Sunday morning over 20,000 spectators showed up to support the fifth edition of Ironman 70.3 Austria St. Pölten. The 1.2 mile swim course spanned two local lakes, followed by a 56 mile bike route, and a 13.1 mile run course looping through the Sportarena stadium.
Michael Weiss returned to challenge last year's race winner Filip Ospaly, of the Czech Republic. The professionals began the swim at 7:00am and Michael exited the water in 27:45, approximately three and a half minutes behind the leader, Ospaly. Weiss put his cycling skills to the test and passed the leaders for a first place position by mile 30. He maintained the lead and set a new bike course record in 2:05:17 with an average power of 365 watts. Michi took off on the run leading by 3:45 minutes and maintained a 5:40 minute mile pace. It was not until mile 11 that Weiss was joined by Philip Ospaly. The Czech champion finished first in 3:55:27 just 28 seconds in front of Weiss. Michael's run was 1:18:25 giving him a total race time of 3:56:01.
Weiss was thrilled with his performance and congratulated Ospaly on a great race. "It is always an incredible experience to race in Austria” Weiss says of his home country, "We have the most amazing supporters here and they give me so much energy throughout the race!”
Michael will now recover and focus on his upcoming race, which will be a full Ironman.
photo credit: www.teis.at Christian Teis