Triathlete Fabio Spiteri has recently returned from yet another successful participation in Klagenfurt Austria Ironman event, a triathlon race consisting of a 3.8Km swim, 180Km cycle and 42.2Km run.
From before the start of the race, this event was showing that it was going to be challenging as temperatures soared into the forties. For the first time in its 14-year history, the swim was scheduled to take place without a wetsuit. As the temperature hit 42 degrees, several athletes dropped out in the run segment, including the race favourite British Philip Graves, who at one point was leading.
As this was Fabio’s second participation in this race, his target was improving his previous time of 9:52:50 however the fact that no wetsuits were allowed in the race slowed him down in the swim, achieving a time which was 8 minutes slower than his previous time in the same lake. Not wearing a wetsuit makes it difficult to achieve fast speeds in a lake. Moving on to the 180km hilly bike segment, Fabio was seeing his dream of a personal best time being shattered as he was penalised for a drafting infringement (being too close to another cyclist), costing him yet another 6 minutes. The 42.2Km run which immediately follows 3.8Km swim and the 180Km cycle was going to make or break the timing. Driven by his determination to achieve a personal best time, coupled with the great support of spectators, some of which showered athletes with water from their gardens to keep cool, Fabio completed the marathon in 3 hours 26 minutes, thus completing the race in 9hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds, shaving off 20 seconds from his previous time, achieving his dream of a personal best result and achieving 83rd position in a field of 2700 athletes.
“Despite all the setbacks on the day, I am ecstatic at having achieved a personal best time” said Fabio Spiteri. “Endurance racing requires a lot of commitment and support and the latter has been forthcoming not only from my loved ones and friends but also my sponsors Garmin and Ice Watch by Hebe. Without this support I would not be in a position to keep on racing” continued Fabio.
Triathletes Ruben Degiorgio, John Cassar, Anthony Fenech and Alan Farrugia also successfully completed the race, it being their first full Ironman distance participation.