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Ironman World Championships, Kailua Kona

13. October 2012

Kailua Kona

Andreas Raelert grabs second after an epic run, top 20 for Ronnie Schildknecht.

For the fourth consecutive year, Andreas Raelert finished on the podium of the Ironman World Championships on Big Island, Hawaii. The race started bad for race favourite Raelert. After losing some time on a first group of contenders during the 3.8k ocean swim, Andi received a penalty for grabbing the wrong bag in T1. "The start of the race was bad. I didn't have a good feeling in the water. I came out T1 5:30 after Jacobs, Crowie and the others. So the bike ride was extremely hard as well. But I didn't lose too much time on the others, except on Marino Vanhoenacker." Andreas started the run in 11th place, more than 13 minutes down on Marino. What he showed then was an incredible performance, both physically and mentally. He worked his way up and passed one athlete after the other, and after the Energy Lab turning point, with only 15k to go, he found himself in second. The gap with race leader Pete Jacobs however, was too big to close. Jacobs ran an excellent marathon himself and won the race well deserved, with 4 minutes advantage on Andreas. In the last 5k, there was an epic fight for second between Andreas and Frederic Van Lierde. Van Lierde came back on Andreas and with only 2k to go, in the descent of Palani Road, the young Belgian attacked and took 25 meters advantage. With less than 1k to go, Andreas was able to close the gap again and made his final move, leaving Van Lierde alone and taking his second silver in Kona. Certainly there was some disappointment on missing the gold again, but Andreas also was aware of the incredible run he did. "The race isn't over before the finish line, I realised once more. I thought I lost everything after the swim already, but I

After the race, 19th placed Ronnie Schildknecht said: "As usual, I lost some minutes in the swim. I had a good feeling on the bike, and when Sebastian Kienle put the hammer down I could maintain the same
speed for a while. But he certainly is the best rider at the moment and after a while I had to let him go. After T2, my marathon was rather disappointing. I was feeling good during the first part on AliiDrive, but when we entered
the Lava fields at Energy Lab, I was simply overheating, couldn't get the boiling heat out of my body anymore. The last 15k were extremely hard. So ending up on place 19 is kind of disappointing but then again, I am happy that I
finished the race. Look at so many other pro's, like Macca or Vanhoenacker, they didn't make it to the finish. The heat, with no wind at all during the marathon made this year's race in Kona even harder than other years."

Michael Raelert had an excellent start of his World Championships. He came out of the water with the lead group and stayed in front of the race until km 100. "I don't know what happened then. I didn't have any mechanical problems, there was no excuse, I simply ran out of energy, could not keep the pace, I even had to stop for a while. I finished the race because I didn't want to quit in my first long distance world championships, but it was a very, very hard day out there. Yes, I am disappointed. I came here to win. I will be back stronger and wiser next time."

A similar race story can be told about Greg Bennett, who struggled extremely during the last 20k of the marathon. He reached the finished completely exhausted and spent quite some time in the medical tent recovering. Greg also did an excellent swim, coming out the water with all favourites. He started to lose time in the second part of the windy bike course and could not make up time in the run. But also Greg made it to finish, taking with him the experience for next year!

Congratulations to all BMC athletes, pro and age groupers, who finished the race!