“I felt great physically and mentally,” said Robert Karaś, who on Thursday had to withdraw from further participation in the Swiss Ultra Triathlon event over the distance of a ten-time Ironman, in which he was aiming for victory.
Robert Karaś was leading in the Swiss Ultra Triathlon after completing the swim and bike course. The Polish athlete covered the 1,800km cycling distance in a time of 68 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds (average speed of 26.2 km/h). After completing the ride (before 1 a.m. on Wednesday), Karaś decided to take a three-hour rest.
The Pole then started the running part. Karaś had a definite advantage over the rest of the pack – when he came off the bike, second-placed Belgian Kenneth Vanthuyne still had 53 laps to go.
Before 18:00, the rider’s colleagues reported that doctors had banned Karas from continuing the race for fear of his life. By then, the Pole had run 65 of the 422 kilometres. “The pain after the operation he had only three weeks ago proved unbearable even for him! Thank you for the emotions, we will come back even stronger!” we read on his Instagram profile.
Later, Robert Karaś spoke on the matter and posted a short video on social media.
“Now just briefly, a little correction. I feel fine. Somewhere I saw the media write that I am exhausted or have back-related issues. No, I had an operation 3 weeks ago it was urological issues. On the bike it got active, on the run it was no longer possible to run, and I felt great physically and mentally. Also, together with the team, we did a mega job. We need to do one more operation to let it heal and that’s it, see you at the next races. Thanks for being there and I know you will be. Best regards,” said Robert Karaś.
The standard distance of an Ironman triathlon event is 3.8 km in the water, 180 km on the bike and 42.2 km running. Competitors taking part in the Swiss Ultra Triathlon have routes ten times longer to complete. Nineteen athletes competed in the Swiss event, including three Poles – apart from Karaś, also Adrian Kostera and Tomasz Lus.