Sunday November 26th marked the 9th edition of Ironman Cozumel. For Michael Weiss, Austrian Pro Triathlete, it was his fifth year racing the full distance Ironman in Mexico. With two wins, a third and fourth place finish on the island, he was confident in wrapping up the 2017 season strongly. As always in Cozumel, he enjoyed a perfect lead-up at El Cozumeleño Beach Resort.
Race morning brought typical Cozumel conditions; hot, humid, and windy, and ~1,800 participants lined up for the 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 marathon run.
Weiss pushed through the point-to-point swim in his Blueseventy PZ4TX swimskin, feeling only slight discomfort from the metal plate in his shoulder (due to fractured collarbone repair earlier this year) in 44:56 and started the bike approximately three and a half minutes behind the main group.
Once the three loop, 112 mile bike leg was underway he began to move up through the field on the Diamondback Andean. Staying on pace with an SRM PowerMeter, Michi managed to ride into second position, posting the second fastest bike split of the day, 4:12:57 - which was also almost five minutes faster than the bike course record he set last year!
Michael completed the bike and entered T2 with a six minute gap to leader, Sebastian Kienle, and a comfortable buffer of around nine minutes to the next group including Stefan Schmid and Ivan Raña.
The run was a hot and flat three loops, totaling 26.2 miles along the island coast. Michael kept a consistent pace and ran one of his best marathons with heat considered, in 2:50:47.
Weiss, always a crowd favorite in Cozumel, was cheered into the finish line in second place. He set his Ironman Personal Record ( PR) with a 7:53:27 and remains the only Austrian to finish an Ironman in under 8 hours!
Off season now awaits. Michael will have a minor surgery to remove the shoulder plate and then recover through the holidays with family and friends.
Photo by Nick Morales