Michael Raelert was not allowed to celebrate a success at the Ironman 70.3 Vietnam. While he was leading the race on the bike, he had bad luck and experienced a flat tire. "Unfortunately, I could not finish the race today," said Michael Raelert, "that is a very sad moment for me. I would have loved it to leave Asia with a positive result." Tim van Berkel from Australia took the win in Danang in 3:56:19 hours ahead of Russia’s Ivan Kalashnikov (4:00:32 hours) and Mike Phillips (New Zealand), who finished in 4:02:14 hours.
"My swim was absolutely according to my plan," said Michael Raelert after the race. Australia’s strong swimmer Sam Betten led the top group out of the water after the 1.9 kilometer long swim leg. Betten hit the ground after 24:50 minutes, while Michael Raelert reached the first transition close behind in fifth place after 24:56 minutes. "On the bike, I wanted to attack," Michael Raelert described his tactics later.
Right from the start, Michael Raelert belonged to the protagonists on the 90 kilometer long bike stretch, and he started to make his marks early in the race. The 36-year old took over the lead and started to set off from his pursuers. Already at the beginning of the second lap, he was clearly in the lead thanks to a solid first gap of more than two minutes. "It went quite well, until I flattened," said Michael Raelert. After 60 kilometers, he had to stop due to the flat tire. "I tried to fix the problem quickly," he said. "unfortunately, I did not have my best day." While the top group passed him, Michael Raelert lost a lot of time. "At this point, the race was already over."
Michael Raelert finished the bike course in 2:25:48 hours, but he was far behind the lead and it didn’t make any sense to start into the final half marathon with ambitions. "It was not my one today," said Michael Raelert, "for sure, I would have loved it to experience a nice final episode of my training stay in Asia." Back in Europe, he would like to run home positive results soon.