31. Oct 2016


Michael Raelert ranks fourth at the Ironman 70.3 Austin

Same result as one week before in Miami – Tired legs and a difficult competition in Texas – Swim cancellation due to thick fog leads into a time trial on the bike 

Austin. Michael Raelert finished his US competition tour with a fourth-place finish at the Ironman 70.3 Austin. In Texas, he missed the podium after a solid performance in 3:25:58 hours by just 13 seconds. Michael Raelert ranked fourth behind American Chris Leifermann, who won in 3:23:13 hours, and Chris Leifermann’s countrymen TJ Tollakson (3:24:35 hours) and Matt Hanson, who finished in 3:25:43 hours. "I've been very well in the race for a long time, but unfortunately I could not push anymore on the final kilometers," said Michael Raelert.

Due to challenging weather conditions in Texas, race day turned out totally different than it had been planned. The morning in Austin started with thick fog. First, the swim start was postponed, but eventually the swim had to be canceled completely. "We started with the bike, one athlete every 30 seconds," said Michael Raelert, who started into the race in second position behind the defending champion Sam Appleton from Australia. "This was not an easy mission," he said later. Michael Raelert had only very little information about the gaps and the situation behind him. "After 70 kilometers of the bike, I got a clear info: Miami was still in my legs," said Michael Raelert. He came off the bike with the fourth-best time in 2:07:12 hours.

After about five kilometers of the run, Michael Raelert was in third place. Shortly after, he was already in touch with TJ Tollakson in runner-up position. At about half way of the course, he ran in the silver rank. Chris Leifermann, who had started into the race later than Michael Raelert, was virtually leading the competition at that point. "It was a rather complicated situation for me," said Michael Raelert, "although I was on track in first place, the leaderboard was different." He also felt his legs getting more and more tired. "The last one of the three laps was anything else but nice," explained the Rostockian, "my muscles were completely empty." In 1:17:23 hours, Michael Raelert was way slower than he is normally able to run a half marathon. Finally, he got passed in the overall ranking by TJ Tollakson and the fastest runner in the field, Matt Hanson.

"I am looking forward to return to Germany now and to have a short break", explained Michael Raelert, "I’m sure I can make the next step back to the top with a bit of recovery." In the next weeks, Michael Raelert plans to head to Thailand and to start at the Ironman 70.3 Bahrain.


Foto: MundoTRI.com.br / Wagner Araùjo
Micha at Ironman 70.3 Miami, 2016
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