ANJA BERANEK SECOND @IRONMAN ZELL
In Zell am See, the IRONMAN excitement started a bit early this year: During the night before the race, a heavy storm damaged and destroyed a large portion of the bikes and racing gear already checked in at the transition area.
Unfortunately, my cycling helmet also got damaged badly and was unusable in the morning. But triathlon also means being spontaneous: I managed to get myself a new helmet and thoroughly checked my bike for any damage or defects.
Despite everything, I had a good start and could take the lead while swimming. As first woman I got out of the water and on my bike!
The cycling course in Zell am See does not only offer a great view of the Kaprun Alps, but also lots of challenges: After the first 20 kilometres, the ascent up the Hochkönig starts. It lasts for about 12 km, the last two of them being especially steep: The gradient is about 14%, until the road reaches the Filzensattel at an altitude of 1300 metres.
Directly afterwards, it's downhill again on some very technical serpentines! This racing course is very challenging and requires determination and concentration at all times.
During the ascent, the winner-to-be caught up with me, I fell back on second place but was able to keep the gap within a reasonable limit. I finished the cycling course over an altitude difference of 900 m about 90 seconds behind her and got on the 21 km running track.
The last part of the racing route also is as scenic as it is demanding: Heading from the lakeside into the city of Zell, I could defend my position and finished as runner-up!
I'm glad about this result of five hard weeks of training: In Zell am See, I applied defensive tactics and I'm back on track on the road to Kona.
Thank you to all my supporters and congratulations to the strong winner Laura Philipp!