3 different races - 6 different winners in Austria!
The third race of the IUTA World Cup took place in Austria. In three different races, Double, Triple and Quintuple, athletes were fighting for world cup points, victories or to get to the finish line at least.
Text by Norbert Lüftenegger
Swim start was done in different waves. First of all the Quintuple Masters and woman jumped into the 25 meter outdoor-pool in the middle of the day on Thursday, 11th of July. On Friday the quintuple elite and triple athletes followed and in the evening the double athletes completed their swim. (For those who followed along on the my race results page, this explains why the times were not always reflective of who was indeed in first place, because of the staggered swim starts).
Great attention was placed on the Quintuple race, because Katrin Burow and Rait Ratasepp were primed to set a new world record. During the swimming portion, the women’s leader Burow was out of the water with an outstanding performance of 5 hours and 45 minutes. Only Andreas Six finished his swim part a few minutes earlier than Katrin at the mens race.
The mens race was very close and Rait Ratasepp and Richard Jung had a very exciting battle from as early as the beginning of the bike.
After 32 hours on the bike, Rait experienced a bit of trouble and with that Richard Jung took the opportunity to take the lead. But there was still the challenge of five marathons to go.
At the same time, the women’s leader Katrin Burow was in good shape for her world record attempt.
The running part was characteristic with few rests to recovery. Katrin and Rait slowed a bit to what they are usually capable of and so Richard Jung took the chance and made his plan to beat the world record. His outstanding and very constant running was very impressive.
In the end Richard Jung, the current world record holder at Deca Ultra Triathlon and Deca a day Ultra Triathlon, allegedly sets his 3rd world record with a finish of 71:07:24 hours at the continuous Quintuple Ultra Triathlon. Allegedly because the event organizer refused to execute the contractually agreed doping test, which is obligatory if an athlete set a new score.
Also a very remarkable performance was achieved by a British athlete. Just armed with a bottle of coke, a bottle of water, some crackers and a chair, Stuart Gillett earned 3rd place with a very fast run.
Katrin Burow’s problems during the running part get bigger and she decided to finish the race. She won the Quintuple at the time of 122:10:43 hours. Congrats.
Also very exciting was the Triple Ultra Triathlon race. Marie Veslestaul, an already decorated ultra triathlete from Norway, achieved first place. At the mens race it was a duel of two very fast runners. After the bike part Konstantinos Zemadanis from Greece was just 10 minutes in front of Christian Mauduit from france. Both athletes are famous runners but in the end Christian got the victory after a strong 15:29 hrs run.
The "Double" was won by the Swiss Eva Hürlimann and the Spain athlete Ramon Mendizabal. The second place in the women's field is remarkable: Claudia Marra was the first Italian ever to finish an ultra-triathlon. The podium was completed by the German Andrea Klein. Second and third place went to local heroes Herbert Brüggler (best bike time) and Stefan Räuscher.
Text by Stuart Gillett
On Monday the 15th of July Richard Jung of Germany completed the Quintuple ironman in Austria in a new World record time of 71 hours, 7 minutes and 24 seconds, closely followed by Rait Ratasepp (Estonia) in Second and Stuart Gillett (Great Britain) in third.
28 Starters registered and racing started in the 25m pool of the beautiful spa hotel. A two group staggered start began on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Some fantastic times were set Andreas Six and Richard Jung to name but a few.
The bike race commenced from transition by the pool, with Athletes setting out to start the 432 laps around the village and through the transition area of the sports complex. The course comprised a slight climb out of the village followed by a a tight turn with fast descent, quick right turn and back though to transition. The traffic expertly managed by the local fire service. Fastest time in the cycle was set by Rait, followed by Richard and Stuart Gillett making up time from the swim. The cycle saw some fantastic fast racing, and a range of weather conditions from Blazing sunshine to torrential downpours, testing the skills of the athletes and requiring many changes of clothing.
Transition 2 saw Rait take a longer break allowing Stuart Gillett to close in. Although by the run started on Sunday morning Richard Jung had already demonstrated his dominance completing the run in 30 hours and 50 minutes and taking the new world record.
Racing continued throughout the following days with athletes enduring intense temperatures on the run. Spirits were kept high by the amazing food provided at the refuelling station and the incredible atmosphere and support provided by support crews and other athletes competing over the weekend. Incredible performances were put in by all with an amazing 26 finishers out of the 28 starters. A few names to mention include Bernard Nuss completing 5 races from his “route 66” challenge and Peter Jelinek finally completing the race that had been his nemesis before.
Personally I would like to thank the organisers of this amazing event and the unstoppable Bernhard for his enthusiastic commentary through. But most of all, to all the incredible athletes I met and all the offers of support and assistance I received from everyone as an unsupported athlete.
Text by Christian Mauduit
Austria, July, Friday 12th, 7am, start of the Triple Triathlon.
Among the 17 starters, 15 men, 2 women, only a rough half is starting now. The second wave, composed with of a theorically faster field, starts 6 hours later, at one pm. One thing, when you race the triple here, is that you are in the middle of everything. The quintuple has already started. The double is going to start later. And there are even two waves within the triple. So if you take it easy, it is just about swimming in this little 25m pool, right in the middle of a super classy and historical spa center. Be it because of some local magic or just the metallic border of the pool bouncing so easily, most of us got out of the water pretty fast. As a side note, the youngest racers were born in 1981, and the oldest 1963. This makes everyone fit within an 18 years time span, quite a tight pack.
Now, on the bike! The course is, technically, very small. Barely 3km. Yet, it is not boring at all. I initially was frightened by the right curve after the tents, but it is really OK and I think even the fastest riders never really touched their brakes. The downtown gently climbs, it is actually not really a climb until the very end. Then you are rewarded with a fast gentle downhill, passing some runners. Because, yes, there are already runners, as some of them are competing for 10 marathons in 10 days. After that, riders get on the wild wild road, which means occasionally, there can be a car. There are rare though, and that course is really safe. And not boring, at all. A little rain helped us wake up in the morning. To be honest, I had to view pictures after the race to acknowledge it had really been raining. The baseline is that for a continental summer, we had a very good bargain of not-to-hot and not-to-humid weather. At least, for the triple.
Since there were two waves on the swim start, it slightly mitigated the difference between all participants and most of us started to run somewhere in the afternoon, I think. The running course is, compared to the bike one, quite long, in theory. In practice there is a place I called "the Oasis" after the time, which is right at the opposite of the arch, at the very end of the course. There you can have a fresh parfumed drink, even enjoy a few bites of delicious cakes, continously renewed. Paradise just made real here, on Earth, in Austria, July 2019. I was there. Also, the night was beautiful, and while I personnally pulled out my headlamp at some point, a lot of runners simply ran without it, as public lights and other sources made it totally doable to run with a simple pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Well, maybe, at the end of the night, a sweater or hoody was welcome as it got a little cold, and I think all of us, on a second night, started to have serious excuses and facts to simply be "a little tired". There is something special in all those races where you can just word this in your head "oh, only a marathon left, I'm almost done" yet be perfectly realistic.
All in all, this race was your typical triple ultra triathlon. Solid organisation, no extra fuzz or anything, a smell of belonging to a big friendly family. The strong plus was the day after, an awesome and delightful rest at the SPA, followed by a lovely closing dinner. What else ?