News out of Frankfurt is that Michael Raelert has withdrawn from the Ironman European Championship race due to a hip injury.
Michael, the younger brother of Andreas Raelert and the 2010 Ironman 70.3 World Champ, was set to make his Ironman debut this weekend in Germany. Everyone wanted to see what he could do. At the same time he was trying to qualify and validate his chance at racing in this year's Ironman World Championship race in Kona next to his brother who by the way still needs to fulfill his one Ironman race requirement. Michael still has a chance; he could complete a qualifying Ironman race before the end of August and try for one of those spots. It's a gamble he'll have to ponder if he wants to go to Vegas this year for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship race and defend his title.
"My training and the preparations for my first Ironman distance have been going very well and according to plan since the beginning of the year. In the spring, after the more rigorous training sessions, I experienced pain in certain areas around the hips which disappeared again immediately afterwards. This didn't represent a cause for concern to me, as I had previously experienced such discomfort on several occasions after more ambitious and hard training sessions. My first start of the season last weekend at the Schweriner Schlosstriathlon was perfect as the last rigorous test of my physical form! In spite of the short distance involved I experienced pain in the hips on the evening after the race: although immediate physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment did bring about the relief I had hoped for, the pain returned on the following Monday. Renewed therapy, both on the same day and on the Tuesday, unfortunately didn't bring about the desired results; it seems, especially in the light of the distance and associated toughness of the hard course, to be too big a health risk for me to take part in Ironman Germany on Sunday. In view of the fact that this season features races in Wiesbaden, Las Vegas and Kona which are very important to me, I categorically want to avoid any possible risks and harm to my health. I deeply regret that I will be unable to take part in the race, especially after so many months of training, as, like many other triathletes, I had been enormously looking forward to this day of common endeavour!" - Michael Raelert
Earlier this year their sponsors K-Swiss made them an offer that is still being talked about. They offered the brothers a $1M bonus should they manage to finish first and second at the Ironman World Championship race this year. A bonus that now appears to be fading away with the news of Michael's hip injury.
Andreas isn't racing in Frankfurt as he is still recovering from his amazing world record effort in Roth early this month. Like Michael, he still needs to meet his one Ironman race requirement to race in Kona as well. It seems that Andreas is scheduled to race Ironman Regensburg on August 7th to validate his Kona start.