Our Kona week started with the successful launch of Andreas Raelert’s new CUBE bike, which was the result of the two year collaboration between Aerodynamics by Swiss Side, CUBE and Andreas Raelert. International triathlon media and public were fascinated by the breakthrough technology and the new aerodynamic features on Raelert’s new bike.
We enjoyed feeling the excitement for the World Championship race increase every day and met up with our Swiss Side athletes, that took advantage of the free Kona Aero Support Package, for a beautiful sunset dinner at the beach.
The day of the race we got up at 4am and made our way down to the start of the legendary Ironman World Championship race with hundreds of other Ironman fans and supporters. The excitement was immense, when the race finally started with Swiss Side sponsored athletes Andreas Raelert and Julia Gajer in the pro categories, as well as dozens of age-groupers with Swiss Side HADRON aero wheels.
Andreas Raelert made it out of the water as part of the top group. On the first 50 kilometers of the bike course, Andreas Raelert maintained in the lead group before a 5 minute penalty turned his race upside down. Despite the handicap, he tried to keep his rhythm on the bike and maintain the gap to the front. However, Andreas Raelert felt the pre-race issues with his left thigh coming up very early in the race. He finished the 180km bike course in 4:46:07 hours and started into the marathon. Unfortunately after eight kilometers of the run, the muscular issues in his left thigh proved to be quite serious and he had no choice but to prematurely end the Ironman Hawaii.
Julia Gajer had a good start and finished the swim in fourth position. However on the bike, her energy levels simply weren’t there on race day and she fell back in the field. After the transition to the run, she took the painful decision to retired from the race.
In the age group categories, 10 out of the 11 Kona Aero Support Package athletes crossed the finish line as Kona Ironman, amongst which were some absolute top level placings. It was an incredible hot and long day out on the lava flows of Kailua-Kona for every single athlete as well as all of the supporters out there. Congratulations to the winners Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf, as well as to all of the other athletes, fans, supporters and the organizers for another memorable Ironman World Championships!