Austrian triathlon professional, Michael Weiss, closed the 2015 season with a determined battle for 3rd place at Ironman Cozumel.
Weiss conquered the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile marathon run in 8:24:24 saying “that was one of the toughest races of my career and given the circumstances, third place feels like victory.”
Michael won Ironman Cozumel in 2013 and 2014. An island race known for challenging Caribbean conditions including hot temperatures, high humidity, and never-ending wind
The circumstances Weiss refers to was a persistent virus he experienced during his lead-up in Cozumel. An eight-day sickness that eventually landed him in the hospital for treatment and antibiotics.
He gave special thanks to his hotel host, El Cozumeleño, for exceptional care and support during this time. It wasn’t until Thursday before the race that Michi finally received the green light from doctors to compete. “I knew I wasn’t going into the race with a perfect preparation, but I was prepared to give everything I had left to defend the title."
Weiss delivered a stellar swim performance and earned a new PR with a 49:40 in the ocean swim. Once on the bike, the traditional chase ensued and after 55 kilometers Michael reduced the gap to 1:30 minutes.
“During the first hour and a half I pushed over 340 average watts for tactical reasons. I needed to shake off some competitors,” he explained. "But that type of energy expenditure has a cost and I paid the price in the second half of the bike…”
Weiss posted the second fastest bike split of the day on his Falco V. Michael started the marathon run in third position, and was soon joined by his knee trouble which has plagued him on-and-off for months. "I felt good from the start, I had no real pain, but the knee was snapping with every step.”
The run course saw a lot of action as the top positions were juggled. Weiss dropped back into fourth before digging deep and calling on serious will-power to run back into a podium spot.
After heat, wind, and 140.6 miles of raw endurance Michael closed the 2015 racing chapter saying, "I'm extremely happy and proud that I earned the 3rd place finish. That was one of the toughest races of my career. I’m already motivated to return again next year to reclaim a victory.”
Michael is scheduled with doctors in December to determine if meniscus surgery is necessary.