As Michael Raelert gets ready to take on Ironman Hamburg, Andreas Raelert has decided to skip Kona this year and gear up for 2018.
August 10, 2017 | NEWS|
We'll know after this weekend if there will be a Raelert on the start line in Kona in October. As opposed to previous years where it's been Andreas Raelert we've watched compete on the Big Island, though, this year it will be up to Michael to represent the family.
Since his debut in Kona in 2009 (when he finished third) Andreas Raelert has finished second three times and third twice at the Ironman World Championship. He announced yesterday, though, that he's going to have to pass on the world championship this year due to a series of injuries that have prevented him from making an August racing stint to North America to gain enough points to qualify.
"It is a decision which has been hard to make," he says. "Ironman Hawaii means a lot to me personally. I would love to start again in Kona this year. However, I would like to head to Hawaii in the best possible condition, and to reach this goal would be difficult this year."
"Training was not possible the way it would have been necessary to secure the qualification for the Ironman Hawaii in August on the one hand and to make a perfect performance possible in Hawaii in October on the other hand," he continued. “I do believe that it is absolutely achievable to be in top form in October, but the double-load of a challenging qualification race just a few weeks before the world championship plus the race in Kona would mean a little bit too much after several short interruptions of my training in the past weeks."
Instead of racing at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead and Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Andreas Raelert will look to do a training camp in September with the goal of a November Ironman start in mind.
"My view is already on 2018," he says. "I want to lay the foundations for a successful return to Kailua-Kona."
Michael, on the other hand, is still very much in the hunt to make it to Kona, despite missing much of 2016 due to illness himself. He'll compete at the inaugural Ironman Hamburg event on the weekend. He moved to Hamburg earlier this year, so the race becomes a "home-town" endeavor for the two-time Ironman 70.3 world champ. A top finish will be necessary for Raelert to nail down a Kona slot - he's currently sitting at 80th in the rankings.
He's been in good form, though, starting with a solid third place finish at the Challenge Championship and then a win at the Ironman 70.3 European Championship in June. Things went awry in Frankfurt at the Ironman European Championship for the younger Raelert, though, when he had to pull out due to cramping issues.