News 12/05/2018

Andreas Raelert returns to racing

Start at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship this Saturday – Competition in Bahrain is the first one after a long break – Motivation for further training and goals

Rostock. Andreas Raelert faces the upcoming weekend with a positive attitude and a lot of joy. After a long break, the Rostockian starts at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain on Saturday. "Above all, it’s most important for me to get a taste of racing in Bahrain. It is an incredible feeling to be able to put on a race bib again," says Andreas Raelert. He has cured a fracture in his thigh bone during the past months. "A minor bike crash changed my plans for the whole season," says Andreas Raelert, "I am very grateful to be allowed to start again and I hope that I can take motivation from the race in Bahrain for my further training."

In recent months, the recovery process has been the main focus. "The injury is completely healed," says Andreas Raelert, "I increased my training step by step after I got the permit to train hard again a few weeks ago. I am quite pleased with the level I have reached so far." Even if the Rostockian hasn‘t got specific competition hardness and didn’t do too many hard brick sessions, he is really looking forward to race in Bahrain. "I'm not one of the favorites," says Andreas Raelert, "for me, this race is primarily a personal start signal on my further way." His focus is already clearly on the 2019 season: "For me, it's important to start as soon as possible with the preparation for next year. I would like to show in 2019 what I had hoped to reach in 2018. Saturday's competition will give me a big hint which kind of homeworks I have to do." The goal for the 2019 season is clear already: "My big goal remains the same, it’s the Ironman Hawaii."

The Rostockian, who became father for the second time a few weeks ago, expects a highly competitive race in Bahrain. "It will certainly be very demanding," says Andreas Raelert, "Bahrain has always been a fast race." In 2014, his brother Michael won the inaugural competition in Manama when the race was still part of the Challenge series. "It's a high-speed course," says Andreas Raelert, "although it is often very windy, it is always extremely fast. Especially on the run, it’s important to perform on a high level." Due to that, he considers the race as an info where he currently stands after the first weeks of focused training. "I'm curious myself how it will be in Bahrain."

No doubt, the defending champion Kristian Blummenfelt is one of the favorites on Saturday. The Norwegian, who is well known especially on the Olympic-distance, won his debut on the half Ironman-distance in Bahrain last year thanks to an outstanding performance. Last year, Blummenfelt dropped the New Zealander Terenzo Bozzone, who returned to racing only two weeks out from the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship after he had suffered a serious bike accident this summer. Previous year's fifth Matt Trautmann (South Africa), Adam Bowden (United Kingdom), Pieter Heemeryck from Belgium, Blummenfelts training buddies and fellow countrymen Gustav Iden and Caspar Stornes or the Canadian Brent McMahon are among the top favorites, too. "The list of very quick athletes is long," says Andreas Raelert. "I will more focus on myself this Saturday and try to show a solid performance. Above all, I want to enjoy the atmosphere of racing." His eyes are not only on the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain, he is already thinking about more goals.

Photo: Marcel Hilger