As already at his season-opener 70.3 Campeche three weeks ago, Austrian professional triathlete Michael Weiss could successfully finish in second place at 70.3 Texas. The lead-up was overshadowed by the unexpected passing away of his dear father-in-law, with very sad and heart breaking days at family in Maine before the competition. Jeff Cole was not only a great friend, but also one of Michael's biggest supporters.
The 1.2mi swim took place in the sheltered "Offatts Bayou", but a windy morning with temperatures just below 50F made the conditions quite challenging. The 4-time Ironman Champion exited the water after 26:04 in his Blueseventy Helix wetsuit- a solid start of the race for Michi.
As usual, the Austrian Überbiker could show his strength on the flat 56mi bike course, which was basically one out-and-back. Aboard his Diamondback Andean with HED wheels and an SRM PowerMeter, Michi moved into third position quickly and could hold that until arriving in T2. He placed the third fastest bike split of the day in 2:04:18. "Not only because I wanted to catch the leader Ben Kanute (USA) I pushed around 360 average Watts, but also because I wanted to warm up. It was so cold- my feet and hands were numb getting off the bike", says Weiss, who in general prefers cooler conditions over heat.
On the 3-loop half marathon with many twisty turns, Michi proved again that he is also one of the fastest runners in Ironman racing: With an impressive time of 01:11:32 he was able to overtake Andrew Starykowicz (USA) going into the final 3mi. "I felt great from the first to the last mile. I probably surprised myself the most with the current running shape, as focus was on nordic skiing in Colorado's winter over the last three months", states Weiss. Cheered on by the many spectators around "Moody Gardens", he crossed the finish line in 3:45:40, less than two minutes behind Rio Olympian and 70.3 World Championship runner-up Ben Kanute.
With this strong performance, Michi could show consistency and it gives hope for another top result at his next competition, which will be announced shortly.
Photo: Talbot Cox