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10 / 26 / 2008

WC Gold - Xterra World Championship - Maui / Hawaii / USA

I dreamed from a triumph and hoped for it, but I thought it would not be realistic because the Czech, France and US-Boys counted to the favorites for this competition.

Result of World Championship in the junior's age group: Julian Langer (Austria) ahead of USA and Germany.
Girls ranking: Australia, New Zealand, USA. These results are an indicator of the internationality of that event.

Professional results:

Men: Ruben Ruzafa (Spain) ahead of Michael Weiss (Austria) und Brent McMahon (Canada).

Women: GB, Canada, USA - best Austrian: Carina Wasle as 8th.

Professional champions got a $ 25.000 check.
As I'm an amateur - even as second best Austrian - I got nothing.

With my total time of 3:01:35 I was 8 minutes ahead of the second junior Joshua Olmstead (USA) and about 10 minutes ahead of the 3rd Dennis Kruse (Germany).

Brief race report:

550 triathlets started with a run into the sea for 1.5 k swimming. You can feel the competitors in the water. As I intensified my swimming training I was quite satisfied with my time for this section.

Mountain bike was 32 k mostly over sharp-edged lava rubble. Steep ascents and downhills characterized this part. Even pros had to carry their bikes sometimes.

11 k running during the warmest time of the day with hardly any shadow was also really hard. Luckily water and Gatorade were served every kilometer. That helped to survive. The last mile was to run along the beauty sand beach and over reefs.

I finished - as winner - after about three hours with my very last power.

10 / 21 / 2008

Aloha - Arrived safely on Hawaii

Xterra World Championship will be my sportive zenith in 2008.
Some of my friends and sport colleagues asked me if it is really worth travelling around the world to take part in this event. The distance Maui / Hawaii / USA to Vienna / Austria is about 7700 miles and there is a 12 hours timeshift.

The travel to Hawaii is strenuous and expensive. The flight Vienna - Frankfurt - Los Angeles - Maui took two days.
Luckily everything was o.k. upon arrival even our luggage made it. (At our last trip to USA in August 2008 we missed three bags.) On Hawaii it is - and that was no surprise - rather warm and sultry. I already had my first swim training in the very warm Pacific Ocean.

Program for the next days:
Swim - bike - run - regenerate - swim - bike run (But only in a reduced mode to get adapted to the strange climate there.) Actually I don't miss my school in Vienna that much...

It is rather difficult to asses my chances for the Xterra world championship. After my top results in the qualification races (rank 1 and 2 in USA, rank 2 in Austria) I ought to belong to the favorites at the juniors. However there were about 25 qualification races around the world and only the winner got a slot for the final race - world championship - on Maui. I'm convinced there won't be any weaklings in the starter field...

09 / 27 / 2008

Austrian Sportsman Award Ceremony - Vienna - Heldenplatz

About 370 Austrian sportsmen who won a medal in European- World Championships or at the Olympic games in Beijing 2008 got honored by the Austrian government at the "Day of Sport Festival" in Vienna. As I got two gold medals with the Austrian junior triathlon team I was invited, too.
About 300.000 visitors visited this festival and took the opportunity to meet the very best Austrian amateur and professional athletes from all kind of sports.

From the Austrian junior triathlets Lisa Perterer, Stefanie Hofer, Felix Waldhuber, Alois Knabl (he could not take part) and I where called on the podium to receive a nice decoration.

At the VIP lounge close to the festival stage we got served by Do&Co - the famous Austrian caterer - with delicious food. It was fun the be close the very best Austrian athletes like Mirna Jukic, Marlis Schild, Thomas Morgenstern, Werner Schlager etc.
That was a great motivation to become a professional, too in a couple of years.

09 / 13 / 2008

Triathlon Sprint Distance - Austrian Championships - Vienna / Donauinsel

That was my first start in a "Summer-Triathlon" competition at an Austrian championship.
My goal was to achieve a top position in the junior race to get a nomination for the sport division in the Austrian Army next year.
With my 4th rank I think I have good chances for that.

Most all of my winter triathlon colleagues took part and also rather powerful Austrian junior triathletes. The Austrian juniors did very well at the European championship in Spain last week - congratulation.

With bike and running I am able to achieve top performances but I have to approve my swimming very much, especially my swimming style. My swimming is quite ok for Xterra events but not really sufficient for triathlons at the moment.

Since I did not swim for the last eight years I'm rather behind with my performance although I train very hard since February this year.
It was a rather cold morning but the water temperature was 21.2 centigrade. Just 0.2 too high for the allowance to use neoprene swimming suits.

After swimming I was more than three minutes behind the best triathlon swimmers. Even I was very fast at the transition zone the gap to the bikers was too wide and I was not able to catch up the top bikers. So I had to bike without any slipstream for 20 k.
Nevertheless I achieved an average speed of more than 42 km / hour.
My running time was the very best of all juniors.

If I'm able to improve my swimming performance significantly during the winter training period, I'll be able to become a top triathlet in a couple of years.

08 / 23 / 2008

Xterra Austria Klopeinersee / Carinthia

Xterra Austria was a real international event and rather demanding.
I finished as 2nd in the junior category and achieved a further top result after my US races (1st Beaver Creek and 2nd Ogden / Snowbasin). I was close behind the 20 professional starters as 27th finisher (about 200 starters). I arrived as fifth-best Austrian athlete at the finish line.

Except the winner of the professionals Michi Weiss there were no further Austrians within the top ten. Women's category was won by the world champion from UK and no Austrian woman achieved a top result.

Even in my junior category were a lot of strong boys from several countries. The winner came from Czech Republic, I finished as 2nd (as best Austrian), 3rd rank was Germany, 4th and 5th Italy.

At the world championships in Maui / Hawaii, Oct 26th there will be even harder competitors. But I feel quite well and I even have some reserves. At the Xterra in Carinthia it was pouring with rain and the event was a real mud-battle.

On the last picture you can see me with Dave Nicholas - "The Big Kahuna" - the "Inventor" and President of Xterra. I'm looking forward to meet him again in a couple of weeks in Hawaii.

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