Ironman 70.3 Monaco Race
Andreas Raelert of Germany (right) won the 2008 Monaco Ironman 70.3 race on Sunday with an incredible winning time of 4 hours 10 minutes and 10 seconds, breaking the Monaco record of 4h12 held by Marcel Zampora (Spain, 2006). Raelert was quick in the 1.9 km swim with a time of 24 minutes 50 seconds, and did the 90 km bike leg in 2 hours 31 minutes and 0 seconds. In the final 21.1 km half marathon he was very fast at 1 hour 9 minutes and 0 seconds. Second place was taken by Michael Weiss (centre) of Austria who finished with a time of 4h14 and 12 seconds. Third place was taken by Sebastian Kienle (left) of Germany, whose finishing time was 4h14 and 48 seconds.
It was the 4th Monaco Ironman event held and more than a thousand competitors took part in this ultimate test of fitness. The race started in the Larvotto beach area of Monaco where the 1.9 km swim was held. After the swimming stage, the competitors transitioned to the 90 km cycling event and worked their way through the French Maritime Alps with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea below. The final leg of this long distance triathlon was a half marathon (21.1 km) that passed by the Monte-Carlo Casino and included the steep hills that make up the landscape of the Principality of Monaco.
The first three finishers Raelert, Weiss, and Kienle were MPRO professional Ironman competitors and they compete in the TRIANGLE world series of Ironman competitions. The 2009 TRIANGLE Ironman schedule is set as South Africa (January 18), South Africa (April 5), Austria (May 24), France (June 28), Austria (July 5) and today's event Monaco (September 6). Over 50 million television viewers tune in to watch the Ironman competitions, and 97% of competitors are amateurs with the final 3% comprised of professionals.