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Andreas Raelert in Hawaii

Kona Chat: Andreas Raelert On Turning A Bad Day Good

It takes one heck of an athlete to turn an abject performance into an impressive result. Andreas Raelert started the Ironman World Championships with a swim that was (by his standards) poor. The bike didn't start great but he found his legs, nailed the second half of it and smashed the run to take second. We caught up with the – as always – refreshingly honest German to talk about his race.

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Andreas Raelert in Frankfurt

Ironman European Championships - Frankfurt

Andreas Raelert wants to fight for the victory in Frankfurt

andreas raelert2

Ironman European Championship: The european champion of 2010 returns to Frankfurt as co-favorite - "Fantastic memories of the race two years ago"

Frankfurt. On Sunday Andreas Raelert will be at the starting line of the Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship for the third time after 2009 and 2010 - and he wants to fight for the victory. "I am happy that I can be here in Frankfurt", the European Champion of 2010 says. "I remember the race of 2010 as an almost perfect day. The finish 2010 at the Römer in Frankfurt was one of the finest and most emotional moments in my career. "Andreas Raelert won the competition two years ago in 8:05:15 hours.

The 4th July 2010: It was a day when nearly everything worked out as Andreas Raelert had imagined before. In the water he was always in the leading group and came out of the Lake Langener Waldsee after 47:34 minutes. After that he could quickly separate from his pursuers on the bike. "I was lucky that I had really good legs that day", he looks back. When Andreas Raelert came off the bike after 180 kilometers and a solo bike ride, he had builded up a gap of already ten minutes. In the marathon the athlete from Rostock then confidently defended his first position and celebrated a great victory at the finish line on the Römerberg in Frankfurt. "The marathon was very hard, but when I think of the fantastic audience and the incredible atmosphere at the finish line, it still gives me goosebumps."

Two years after winning the European Championship in Frankfurt and twelve months after setting a new world record time of 7:41:33 hours at the Ironman distance in Roth, Andreas Raelert is now back in Frankfurt. "This year's race will certainly be very different compared to 2010", the co-favorite says, "next to Marino Vanhoenacker and Sebastian Kienle's Clemente Alonso, Stephane Poulat and Jan Raphael there is a large number of other strong athletes at the starting line. They all want to use their opportunities."

Andreas Raelert has prepared for the race in Frankfurt in a high altitude training camp in St. Moritz. On his road to Frankfurt he won the ETU-European Championship on the middle distance at Challenge Kraichgau as the defending champion. Two weeks before the Ironman in Frankfurt the third of Ironman Hawaii won a middle distance race in Bad Bodenteich; it was a good final test of his shape. "I'm well prepared", Andreas Raelert says, "I'm looking forward to the race and would like to re-enter the finish line on the Römerberg as a winner. But I also know that everything has to fit perfectly in the race to reach this goal."

The Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship starts on Sunday at 6.45 a.m. with a swim of 3.8 km swim in the Waldsee Langen, the finish will be around 2 p.m. on the Römerberg in Frankfurt. You can follow the race on the Internet live from 6.30 a.m. at ironman.com.