MICHI WINS 70.3 ZELL AM SEE - KAPRUN
After having already won the first two Austrian races of the year at 70.3 St. Pölten and then at Ironman Austria, Michi made history by storming to victory at 70.3 Zell am See - Kaprun and achieving the Austrian Ironman Triple.
Due to an unseasonal cold weather front coming in over night and leaving a blanket of snow at 1000m above sea level, the decision was taken on Sunday morning to cancel the bike leg. The result was a shortened ‘aquathlon' style format of 1.9km open water swim followed by a 21.1km run.
Although the air temperature was only around 10C, the water temperature of the Zellersee was still 21C and wetsuit legal. Michi exited the water in his Blueseventy Helix wetsuit in a time of 26:28 which was not an especially good swim for him but as he commented later, "It was an unusually cold morning and I think I could have warmed up beforehand more thoroughly than I did. The result was that it took me a little longer than usual to get going in the swim - never a good thing when you are surrounded by so many guys who can swim so well!”
The 5-time Ironman champion exited the swim and started the lakeside, gravelly and undulating run with a 3-minute time deficit to the leaders but this was down to just 1:30 at the 5km mark. By the 14km mark, Michi had caught and then decisively passed the leader on the course, Hungarian Lazlo Tarnai. He went on to post a new personal best run split of 1:07:32, taking the win by 52 seconds over the former Olympian Andreas Giglmayr from Salzburg.
"I am so proud to be the first Austrian to have won all three Ironman events in my home country. It is a dream come true. I am just blown away.” I will rest up as best I can and then I will compete in the 70.3 World Championship in South Africa next Sunday. I feel absolutely no pressure going into that race as it has been such a great year for me already, anything more is just a bonus,' says a very contented Michi Weiss.