Michael Raelert starts into the season in a solid way
Sixth place at the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo City in South Africa – Good swim and bike performance in the first race of the year in East London
East London. Michael Raelert managed a solid start into the season at the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo City in South Africa. "The bigger part of the race was more or less okay, but there is still a clear need for improvement," said Michael Raelert after finishing in sixth place in this year’s first competition. South African Matt Trautman won the race in East London in 4:02:59 hours in front of his fellow countrymen Bradley Weiss, who crossed the line in 4:05:48 hours, and Henri Schoeman, who finished in 4:07:30 hours. Michael Raelert ranked sixth in 4:11:32 hours and congratulated Matt Trautman. "Matty showed a strong race today," said the Rostockian, "the conditions were tough due to a lot of wind, and the course is very demanding."
As expected, the South African Henri Schoeman took over the lead early in the swim. Schoeman, who ranked third at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, took more than two minutes off his pursuers. "I should have been a bit more concentrated when he started to open up the gap," said Michael Raelert later. He eventually came out of the water in second place in 25:38 minutes, but he was already a bit behind after these first 1.9 kilometers. On the bike, the Rostockian then belonged to a strong group. Together with Matt Trautmann and his compatriots Kyle Buckingham and Bradley Weiss, Michael Raelert caught up with the leader Henri Schoeman shortly before the end of the 90-kilometer bike leg. "The course was really demanding," said Michael Raelert. He came off the bike in third place after 2:17:30 hours.
Already at the start of the run course, Michael Raelert felt that he could not add the necessary speed to establish an offensive race. "There is still a lot missing in terms of running," he said after his finish, "my legs were quite tired after the bike." He started into the final half marathon in the runner-up position behind Matt Trautman, but he was not able to maintain his usual pace. Michael Raelert completed the run in 1:24:04 hours.
Photo credit: Marcel Hilger