On Sunday July 2nd Michael Weiss returned to the start line in Klagenfurt at his home race, Ironman Austria. It was an unexpected event added to his calendar as he was scheduled to have several more weeks of recovery after the fractured collarbone he sustained at Ironman 70.3 Campeche in March. Michi's recovery and training was going so well that Ironman Austria became a realistic target and he was thrilled to return to the spectacular race in his home country.
The 2.4 mile swim was the biggest challenge of the day. Weiss had only returned to regular swim training a mere two weeks prior and he still has a metal plate inside his shoulder which affects movement and flexibility. He managed to complete the swim in 57:08 and wasted no time jumping on his Diamondback Andean to begin his battle on the bike course.
Michael moved into the top ten on the bike using his strength and skill as a cyclist and expertise with the SRM PowerMeter and pacing strategy. He averaged 305 Watts and finished the 112 mile course in 4:27:53.
The 26.2 mile marathon is always a massive effort requiring endurance and the ability to push through pain. Michi was able to give everything he had on the run course after roughly 3 months of rehab and logged an outstanding 2:51:23 marathon, fading only towards the end. Weiss finished 5th overall with a time of 8:22:42. Ironman World Champion and Olympic Champion, Jan Frodeno, took the victory for the day followed by Eneko Llanos in second, Viktor Zyemtsev third, and David Plese fourth.
The 3x Ironman Champion went into this race with realistic goals and expectations and surprised himself with a more-than-solid performance on home-ground. It's time to look ahead now at what's to come and where the remaining KPR points can be earned for the Ironman World Championship qualification.