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FARIS won IRONMAN Austria

Though Faris usually is able to race well under tough conditions his victory at Kärnten Ironman Austria was no walk in the park.

Temperatures of 35 degree Celsius and more made not just only Faris always care about his fluid intake. The second challenge was a non-wetsuit swim. For the first time in the history of Ironman Austria the organizers decided to have a swim without the help of the rubber suit because of the warm water of the Wörthersee. Faris likes both. Heat is not a problem for him and as a good swimmer he prefers swimming just in a normal swimsuit.

Just before the start he did not feel that well and he was not that sure if he could perform as he would have liked to. After he jumped in the water all these feeling were gone. Together with the favourites Daniel Fontana from Italy and Philip Graves from the UK he came out of the water. Graves who was afraid of the heat pushed hard on the first bike kilometres. He wanted to have some spare minutes before the run. So he had a solo lead on the bike and the gap between him and chasers was up to 2:30 minutes during the ride. Faris had a solid bike performance and he defended his second place. The only one who could follow him was the Italian. Faris was not really afraid of Graves lead. The strong runners, the Brit Tom Lowe and the German Michael Göhner were those who could make his run uncomfortable. But at the end of the bike course as the temperatures rised Faris should his strengths and he not just only lost Fontana but he increased the gap to the strong runners up to more than 10 minutes. Until the start of the hot marathon battle Graves could keep his lead but then everything changed pretty fast. Faris took the lead after 5 km in the run and nobody could follow him. After the half marathon mark the spectators thought that Faris’ victory was clear. But it was not for Faris. Just a few kilometres before the finish line he realized that it could work. In the time of 8:11:31 he won Ironman Austria and the distance to the second Daniel Fortana was in the end 9 and to the third, the Portuguese Petro Gomes, another 6 minutes.

“In the water it worked pretty well. With the bike performance I was not that happy but the run with 2:50 h was strong. For most of the people I was the favourite before the race. For me it was just sure that I could win as I almost saw the finish line”, Faris said after the race. With the win in Klagenfurt he fulfilled a hat trick after winning his summer Ironman for the third time in a row.

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