Local sports-star, Michael Weiss, was disappointed to miss the win today in Klagenfurt as he finished Ironman Austria 8th overall in 8:17:42 hours.
At the end of the day, determination and perseverance led the two time Ironman Champion to a top 10 finish with a very important lesson for the upcoming World Championships in Kona: "Never ever give up, that’s what it’s all about!"
The Austrian pro was strong and motivated early on in the day after earning a Personal Best on the swim. The 2.4 miles in beautiful lake Wörth took him 50:04 minutes, more than two minutes faster than in 2011. "Swimming felt great," said Michi, who exited the crystal blue water in 25th position.
Once on the bike course, Michael launched into chase-mode in an effort to close the gap on leaders including, Ivan Rana (Spain) and Faris Al-Sultan (Germany). Despite Al-Sultan's technical problem followed by withdrawal, Weiss never managed to overcome the distance and catch the lead group.
He even admittedly over paced slightly in the struggle to reel in the pack and shares: "I was at full throttle with 340 average watts but I had no chance.“ With this in mind his race tactics changed and he focused on minimizing the damage and perhaps could make another move for his third podium on home soil on the marathon.
Weiss entered T2 in 5th place. "I felt pretty good in the beginning of my run," he reflects. "But with the adrenaline, nerves, and excitement I probably started too fast." Shortly after the half marathon marker Michi had to pay the price for his "catch up" race and found himself taking intermittant walk breaks for about 20 minutes.
"It was a hard day in the office for me with lots of ups and downs. But I never gave up and was able to push through to the line." Michael particularly sends thanks to all the spectators who cheered him on as he broke to the walk on the run. "The support was amazing! I don’t know if I would have made it tot he finishline without the fans."
Today's 'silver-lining' comes in the shape of "Big Island" Hawaii! Michael, now 12th in the Kona Pro Ranking will book his ticket for the Ironman World Championships 2014 in Kona. Weiss now has a short break after three Ironman races in seven months and will be back in racing in August.
Ironman Austria – 8:17:42 hours, 8th place
Swim: 50:04 minutes
Bike: 4:24:11 hours
Run: 2:57:53 hours