Andreas Raelert has won Herbalife Triathon in Gdynia, Poland, in a sovereign way. In 3:54:44 the Rostockian claimed the victory in the middle-distance event ahead of German Sean Donnelly (4:00:13) and Italian Massimo Cigana (4:01:08). Under hot conditions Andreas Raelert improved the course record at the Baltic Sea coast of last year’s winner Victor Zyemtsev (Ukraine) by more than six minutes.
“I feel satisfied with my race,” said Andreas Raelert after the finish, “in general, the performance was very balanced. That gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming tasks in this season.”
After 23:49 minutes, Andreas Raelert came out of the water in second place. After he had mainly determined the pace on the 1.9 km long swim course in the Bay of Gdynia, he eventually exited the Sea closely behind his colleague Sean Donnelly (23:46). “On the bike we both kept the speed high,” said Andreas Raelert, “only on the last 15 kilometers, Sean was able to break away a little bit.” Andreas Raelert rode the 90 kilometer bike course in 2:10:21 and entered T2 just 1:15 minutes behind the leader. However, he was able to reduce the gap early in the run and quickly caught up with Sean Donnelly. After three of the final 21.1 run kilometers Andreas Raelert took the lead and ran to victory thanks to a half marathon in 1:15:53 hours.
“The conditions were tough,” said Andreas Raelert, “the hot temperatures really have had an impact during the run. But the spectators made all of the athletes forget the burden of the weather.” The Rostockian was absolutely impressed by the atmosphere in Gdynia. “The crowd was outstanding – the atmosphere was infectious”, said Andreas Raelert after the event which will turn into an Ironman 70.3 next year. “All athletes had a warm welcome here in Gdynia”, said Andreas Raelert, “the whole atmosphere during the race was a great motivation for the rest of the season.” For Andreas Raelert, the race at the Baltic Sea coast should have been the prelude of a promising second half of the season.
Text and photos: Team Raelert Brothers | Header: ©Ingo Kutsche