September 11, 2011 - The Marines Ironman 70.3 World Championships took place at Lake Las Vegas this morning. This was a new race venue for the World Championships (hosted in Clearwater, Florida in past years) and Nevada's high temperatures, strong winds, and dry climate promised to make for a challenging event.
Michael Weiss represented Austria in the men's professional field. He arrived well rested and in great form after his 2nd place finish at Ironman Austria on July 3rd where he posted a 7:57 finish time.
The pro men started the 1.2 mile swim (not wetsuit legal) in Lake Las Vegas at 6:30am with comfortable temperatures in the 70's a light breeze. Andy Potts was first out of water in 23:19. As seen in past races, Michael exited the water notably behind in 27:57 and eager to make up the time on his bike.
Weiss started the bike in 35th position. The challenging course suited him with rolling climbs through the National Park followed by a long flat for cranking out high speeds before climbing back to transition. Michi's total bike split was 2:12:57, second only to Chris Lieto's 2:10:36. The Austrian "uber-biker” averaged over 370 watts on his SRM PowerMeter and was able to move into 8th position as he entered T2.
The 13.1 mile run was a hot and hilly 3 lap course. Michael attacked the run from his first few strides and impressed the crowd with a 5:39 mile average! He was able to overtake several strong Australian competitors on the run, including: Luke Bell, Paul Ambrose, Paul Matthews, Tim Berkel, and Joe Gambles. Weiss ran his way to 4th place with a 1:14:09 run split - the third fastest of the day. Craig Alexander, the winner and new World Champion ran a 1:11:50.
Michael was thrilled with his race in Las Vegas. He continues to deliver outstanding bike performances and has shaken up the men's field with his new speed on the run course! This was his first of three World Championship races this year. He will start at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii on October 8th, followed closely by XTERRA Worlds on October 23rd.
pic: Sean Watkins www.wattieink.com