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23. Aug 2012

Tough middle distance race on September 2nd in Austria

Andy at Challenge Walchsee

Andy will be at the starting line of the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl on September 2nd. The race over the middle distance (1.9 / 90/21) in Austria is an important Kona-test for the World record holder on the Ironman distance. "The course of Challenge Walchsee is demanding, the pro field is a tough one”, the 36-year old says. “Six weeks out of the Ironman World Championships in Kona I want to see where I am at this point of my training. In Kona I would like to join in the fight for the victory along with Micha. Therefore it is important to have a tough race as a test in the last weeks of preparation."

The Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl offers the challenging competition, Andreas Raelert is looking for on his way to Hawaii. After the swim the 1500 participants have to ride a selective 90 kilometer bike course that includes 900 meters of elevation. A large part of the bike course regularly is used for the Masters World Championships in  road cycling in nearby St. Johann. Finally the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl offers a demanding four-lap run course with many hills. "I am pleased that I can be part of that race", Andreas Raelert says with a look at the competition profile, "I think, the course will be a good test for Kona." And there are other strong competitors at the starting line: Ronnie Schildknecht from Switzerland is a former fourth placed athlete in Kona - and he is the defending champion at Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl. Another co-favorite is Timo Bracht from Germany, who was runner-up at Challenge Roth 2012. Among others there is also the fast Italian Massimo Cigana – a top class athlete on the middle distance.

Currently Andreas Raelert is preparing in the Swiss alps for the race on September 2nd. "The training is going on very well in the altitude", he says after a couple of days filled with hard Kona-work in the mountains. "After long weeks of training I am happy to be back at the starting line on September 2nd", Andreas Raelert explains. "I have very special memories of Challenge races in my mind.” In 2011 he won the European title on the middle distance at Challenge Kraichgau and improved the World record on the Ironman distance only a few weeks later at Challenge Roth with his victory in 7:41:33 hours. Last May he was able to defend his title at Challenge Kraichgau in a new course record time. "Those memories join me in training and motivate me for the Ironman Hawaii."

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