The Ironman Lanzarote was the season opener for Stephan Meinecke. It was meant to be the first test of fitness as Stephan was already qualified for Kona. He did that with a new personal best of 9hrs18min at Ironman Italy last September.
Unfortunately, Stephan had to face several issues during Ironman Lanzarote. He had a solid swim exiting the water in 4th place of the 50-54 age group. Usually, Stephan in used to have a good lead after the swim. The bike ride started well, and he took the lead in his age group after less than 20km. Unfortunately, mechanical issues on the bike did not let him shift into the two lowest gears. It is a significant disadvantage in a race with more than 2500m of elevation. He had to ride some of the climbs with a cadence below 40. Fortunately, low gear workouts are standard for Stephan ;-). Besides, he lost his water bottles several times on the bike, which is not the best base for a run in the heat...
His marathon run started well and controlled, but because of those issues on the bike, the suffering started way too early. After Stephan led the age group for most of the time, he had to settle for second place at the end of the run. Getting second on a bad day should be a good sign for the race in Kona in Oktober. We could draw many useful conclusions out of this race on Lanzarote, which will make Stephan even stronger later this year.
Thorsten Kreutzer did the half challenge race in Heilbronn as his season-opening race. The swim in the freezing cold water did not go perfect, but it did not take his motivation. Thorsten had a good bike ride afterwards on the very hilly race course that left him fresh enough for a massive personal best for the run. He felt great during the entire half marathon and could finish the race with a 1:37:43. His overall time was 5hrs8min.
Cornelia Stähle raced the sprint distance race at the Frauenfeld Triathlon as a preparation race for the 70.3 Rapperswil one week later. She had a great day and finished the sprint race in 2nd place overall with great values in all three disciplines. But what impressed me most was the final 5km run at a sub 4min/km pace! That was her strongest run performance off the bike so far!