Man on a mission

Man on a mission

Pro-athlete Michael Weiss aims to become the first Austrian to win an Ironman race on home soil.

But it will take more than just good aim for the 33 year old to earn his place in the history book of Klagenfurt.

A challenging 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon 26.2 mile run must be conquered on Sunday along with highly motivated, strong opponents.

"I'm going strong," says Michael. "On the bike I regained my former strength and the run has never felt so good."

The two-time Ironman Champion doesn't need to look at the start list to know that the 17th Ironman Austria has a very solid line-up, including former World Champion, Faris Al-Sultan from Germany and Ivan Rana from Spain. "I concentrate only on my strengths and what needs to be accomplished to achieve this great goal," Weiss comments when asked about his fellow racers.

Michael's ultimate goal is to become the first Austrian to win the long distance race with more than 3,000 participants from 61 nations. "Hopefully I can use my home court advantage and gain positive energy from my beautiful country."

When Weiss first started in Carinthia in 2010 he finished 3rd and in 2011 when Marino Vanhoenacker broke the Ironman World Record Michael finished 2nd with 7:57:39 hours on the clock.

The Lower Austrian expects another fast race this weekend, but notes "I'm only focusing on my personal performance, my time in hours and minutes comes second."

Along with his fitness and experience, Michi also trusts in the spectators to give him the final push for a third Ironman victory of his career.

"The atmosphere is very special in Klagenfurt, which is the European version of Kona for me. Especially the finish line gives me goose bumps every time. You feel like a gladiator," Weiss describes with a smile.

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© Michael Weiss, 2019
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