The Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona is notably one of the most physically demanding and mentally challenging competitions in the world!
As a returning Kona warrior, Michael Weiss toed-the-line again with great respect, top shape, and mental strength. The Austrian finished 16th overall after waves, winds, a frustrating flat tire, and a tough marathon.
His finish time was 8:38:27, "Lady-luck can not always be by your side all day in such a long race," he added in regards to his unfortunate puncture at 35mph.
The race opened with a cannon shot at 6:25am with 53 male and 35 female professionals in a 2.4 mile ocean swim. The strong waves and currents separated the field quickly and Weiss exited the water 48th in 1:00:52, admittedly disappointed, "I did not have the right strategy in today's swim. I know my swimming has improved and I can perform far better than what I showed today."
Once on the bike, Michael went to work and quickly began to move up in the field. He had settled into his race pace and was riding hard when his rear tired punctured at mile 10. Without technical support from race officials Weiss managed to change the tire and check the pressure on both tires as precious minutes ticked by. "At this point, to be safe, I even let a bit of air out from the front tire as well."
Michael entered T2 with a 4:33:55 bike split over the 112 mile course. He rode from 48th to 26th and with the flat tire and dangerous cross winds behind him Weiss took to the marathon. While many of the top favorites succumbed to the heat, humidity, and pure exhaustion, Weiss endured and continued to push onward.
Michael worked his way up to 16th with support and motivation from friends, family, and coaches along the way. "I'm proud of my performance in this incredibly talented, world-class field of competitors. A perfect day in Kona requires a bit of luck and that was not on my side today."
"One thing is already certain: I have some unfinished business here on Big Island and I'll be back again next year!" Weiss earned his first points for the Kona Pro Ranking 2015 today and added "I'm only 33, which is like 23 in any other sport. I have my peak performance age in front of me."
Before flying north to Maui for the XTERRA World Championship on October 26th, Michael met with his coaching team for future plans. "I have completed 4 Ironman races since December which we are analyzing to plan for the 2015 season."
The high points are already clear: the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Zell am See and the comeback to Ironman Hawaii.