photo: Kerstin Winterkamp
photo: Kerstin Winterkamp
17. Jun 2013

Two-time World Champion wins the first race in his new hometown

Ironman 70.3 Berlin: Michael Raelert takes the victory

Successful test for the Ironman European Championship – Great new event in a great city

Berlin. Michael Raelert won the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Berlin today. Already after swimming, the two-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion took over the lead and made his way to a significant success in 3:46:56 hours. "I am happy that I was able to celebrate the victory in my first competition of the season," Michael Raelert said after crossing the finish line at the former airport Tempelhof in Berlin. "It's also nice that I won my first race in my new hometown Berlin." Michael Raelert crossed the finish line ahead of the two Germans Michael Göhner (3:51:30 hours) and Per Bittner (3:52:14 hours).

During the 1.9 kilometer swim in the river Spree Olympian Christian Prochnow was setting the pace in a group of four athletes including Michael Raelert. After 23:56 minutes Christian Prochnow exited the water in first position. Michael Raelert was in second place (23:59 minutes), two seconds ahead of Frenchman Antony Costes and German's Christian Ritter. In the first transition zone Michael Raelert took over the lead in the field of 1000 athletes and kept it under his belt until the finish. "It was a beautiful but also a really tough race," said the winner afterwards, "the many turning points on the course have cost enormous power."

After only a third of the flat but windy bike course Michael Raelert had built up a lead of more than four minutes. The reigning Ironman 70.3 European champion completed the 90 kilometer route with the day's best time of 2:04:14 hours. Michael Raelert started into the 21.1 kilometer run with a lead of four and a half minutes ahead of his pursuers. At the end the 32-year old ran his victory home safely in 1:16:52 hours. "I think I can be satisfied with this race," said the winner after his finish, "for me it was the first competition of the season and an important test for Frankfurt. But honestly, in running I still have to do some work in the next three weeks." On July 7 Michael Raelert will race at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt.

Michael Raelert liked the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Berlin not only because of his own success. "Berlin is an extremely diverse city. Especially the cultural offer is huge. So, I personally think that it is also important to have a triathlon of a high international level here like today’s Ironman 70.3." Michael Raelert lives in Berlin since a couple of months. "I think that I have given a worthy sporting debut today," said the world’s fastest athlete on the Ironman 70.3-distance after his victory.

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