Professional triathlete, Michael Weiss, celebrated a successful 'race rehearsal' for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii over the weekend.
Michael was the first Austrian across the line in Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl, fourth place overall in a strong men's field, and now holds the national title in the Double Olympic Distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).
"This is more than a consolation for the missed podium," Weiss happily exclaims.
The Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona on October 11th is now a mere six weeks away, and Michael has called this Challenge event in the Tyrolean lowlands his last race in the lead up to Hawaii. "It was a hard day in the office," he reflected.
Michael exited the lake swim in 25:37 minutes. "I did not feel quite as good as I did in the Cross Triathlon World Championships in Zittau, but it was a solid swim for me." Closing the gap on the bike was made even tougher by hard climbs and technical descents on this extremely challenging course. "It was very difficult to get into a rhythm," noted Weiss. "The swim was a long hurt for me, but I knew that I had prepared a good foundation in training."
Heavy rain began during the second loop on the bike and Michi adjusted accordingly to a conservative, safe speed. "I know I had great power on the pedal and I am exactly where I need to be for Hawaii." In addition, the new seat position was a success in competition as it had been in training. "Comfortable and powerful," he described after the bike split.
The run course was a perfect example for the phrase Never Give Up,
"I was approached very quickly on the first loop of the half marathon, then I leveled my pace and then finished strongly." Weiss moved up into fourth place just 5km before the finish line. He was 2 minutes behind former 70.3 World Champion, Michael Raelert of Germany, and only 2:38 minutes behind the Italian race winner, Giulio Molinari.
"It looks like I have subscribed to fourth place this season in the big races. But after the Ironman Asian Pacific Championships in Melbourne, the Cross Triathlon World Championships in Zittau and now at the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl, I would take it in Hawaii with a kiss," Michael says with a smile.