Horst Reichel showed a strong performance finishing in 8:22 hours to take second place at Ironman Hamburg. Meanwhile, Kaisa Sali celebrated her first big victory in front of her home crowd at Challenge Turku in Finland.
After three hard years in long distance racing, Reichel proved on Sunday that he can still be a serious contender for the podium of an Ironman race. "After winning Ironman Sweden in 2014 I just didn't manage to achieve a decent long distance race. Therefore I am all the more pleased that finally everything workd out."
After the 3.8 k swim in Hamburg's Alster, Reichel found himself in the leading group and was able for a while to control the race. "In the first 35 k or so I was leading the group time and again, trying to leave my mark on the race. However, when James Cunnuma attacked at the beginning of the second bike lap, I could not keep up with him, so I decided to race at my pace until the second transition."
With the fastest running split at Trumer Triathlon, the athlete from Darmstadt had shown that his recent running form is excellent. "When I reached transition my cycling legs felt sore. So I started marathon with a controlled pace, concentrating on my own race", the TEAM SPORT FOR GOOD athlete summed up his strategy for the final 42.195 k. On the first two laps the gap to Markus Fachbach who was in second place remained more or less the same, but then Reichel started to gain ground continuously. Now he was determined to fight for second place. "In the third lap I got really near to Markus. When I overtook him at 30 k, I gave everything trying to put immediately some distance between us. The last five kilometres I started to feel cramps in my thighs and it was so hard. Now, I am absolutely happy to be on the podium!"
Also on Sunday, Kaisa Sali raced at Challenge Turku in a middle distance event. She wanted to test her form in front of her home crowed and also offer them a spectacular race. "I was looking forward so much to that race. To compete in front of your home crowd at a big international race is always very special."
With the fastest split times in all three disciplines, the TEAM SPORT FOR GOOD athlete made it very clear from the beginning that she was deteremined to win. "Yet I was racing a world class competitor with Yvonne van Vlerken who pushed me until the end. Today I had to give it all to secure victory."
After 4:10 hrs, Salid won the race with van Vlerken and Anni Thoren finishing second and third.
The race has shown that the Finnish athlete is right on target to fight for the big title on October 14th at Ironman Hawaii.