Swiss Side pro athlete Andreas Raelert will experience the 2017 Ironman Hawaii from a different perspective. The five-time podium finisher of the legendary World Championship on the Big Island will follow the competition as a Co-commentator for the German TV broadcaster ZDF in Mainz. The TV channel will show the showdown that takes place in Kailua-Kona this Saturday, October 14th, in a livestream on the Internet and from 0.30 CET on live on television. "This is a completely different task than I had planned with for that day," says Andreas Raelert, "of course, it would be even nicer for me to be able to compete in Hawaii this Saturday. Unfortunately, that’s not possible this year. That is why I am really looking forward to commenting on the competition."
Andreas Raelert is looking forward to be part of the ZDF editorial team as well as his friend and long-time national team colleague Daniel Unger, who will comment on the livestream in parallel. "It will be a long and exciting night," says Andreas Raelert, "after eight starts in a row in Hawaii It’s quite new for me to follow the race from Germany throughout the night."
Andreas Raelert expects a thrilling battle this Saturday both in men’s and women’s race. "The Ironman Hawaii is incredibly difficult and full of surprises," he says, "it’s hard to make any predictions." Last year’s men’s podium, the three Germans Jan Frodeno, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange is facing a very strong international field. While Jan Frodeno is hoping for his third victory in a row which would be the fourth consecutive success for Germany, athletes like the Canadians Lionel Sanders and Brent McMahon, British Tim Don, James Cunnama (South Africa), Frederik van Lierde from Belgium or the Americans Tim O'Donnell and Ben Hoffman want to make their way as well. Boris Stein could also be a German surprise in the race. "As every year in Hawaii, it is extremely exciting and very difficult to make predictions," says Andreas Raelert.
In women’s race, it looks like the signs seem to speak clearly for the third victory of the Swiss Daniela Ryf. "Daniela is the outstanding athlete of the past few years," says Andreas Raelert, "even though she has been struggling a bit earlier this year, she impressively returned to the track with her win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship shortly before Hawaii."
For Andreas Raelert, the perspective is already on the Ironman Hawaii 2018. "I want to be back in Kona next year," says Andreas Raelert. He had to stop on his way to this year’s Ironman World Championship during the summer due to an injury. "Recovery worked well," he says, "I hope I can make concrete plans on my personal road to Kona soon." Commenting on this year's Ironman Hawaii, it is a huge motivation for Andreas Raelert to return the Big Island successfully.
Photo: Ingo Kutsche