If you are a tri-geek you were sitting at your computer watching the streaming video for way too many hours soaking in the 30th Anniversary of the Ford Ironman World Championship coverage and boy was it exciting.
The action started on the bike when Macca, last years champion, dropped out of the race due to mechanical problems and when Chrissie Wellington, the woman favored to win, flatted and took 10 min to get herself back on the bike. She used the time wisely to “relieve herself”, that’s my girl! Just to show you the comradery of the athletes out there, Rebekah Keat actually stopped and gave Chrissie a spare tube. Too bad no one was willing to give Macca a bike :)
Chrissie Crushing The Bike
Macca Out Of The Race
It was pretty incredible to see the bike speeds drop as the athletes were heading north to Hawi due to pretty tough headwinds but looks like the tailwind coming back into Kawaihae were going to relieve the athletes for a bit. The last 6 miles heading into T2 it looked ugly out there. Chris Lieto, who is a pro cyclist and NOT a light guy, was getting blow sideways on his bike. Headwind and side wind coupled with some tough rollers truly made the bike challenging for all the athletes.
Descending Bike Splits
Before we get to the run let’s talk about fashion. My three favorites are:
#1 – Faris Al-Sultan – wearing a speedo the entire Ironman is pretty gutsy. Seriously, how does that feel on the bike? The dude just seems to be really cool and laid back so keep wearing that speedo!
Fariss Sporting The Speedo
#2 – Torbjorn Sindballe (the “Viking”) – Sporting the long sleeve shirt with the theory that if you keep it wet it will keep your body temperature down. Honestly, it was making me hot just looking at him.
Torbjorn In His Long Sleeves
#3 – Chris Lieto – He just looks GOOD in that his tri top/bottom. It is hard to wear white but he wears it well. If he could just work on his run form :)
Back to the run, it looked like it was pretty hot out there. After a tough bike it was exciting to see Enero Llanos Burguera take Normann Stadler but then Craig Alexander showed them who was boss. The guy was flying with 6:17 splits (2:45 m arathon…that is insane!). Then there is a Chrissie Wellington who, after a 10 min stop for a flat, still took top on the bike leg and ran a PHENAMINAL run pushing a 6:47 pace.
Enero Passing Norman
Craig Showing Everyone Who Is Boss
SHAWN BURKE, YOU ARE A HAWAII IRONMAN FINISHER!!
The most exciting part was watching my coach and good friend, Shawn Burke, cross the finish line of the Ironman he as been dreaming of for many years. For Shawn this was just a training day in preparation for IM Florida in 3 weeks. He was out there soaking it all in and having fun, and his smile when crossing the finish was incredible. Way to go, Shawn!!
Shawn Crossing The Finish
Two things I learned from the IM:
1- The run is what will make you or break you (notice Craig’s name was not on the leader board off the bike).
2- The weather forcast was SO off. The head, winds and humidity were much worse then they depicted!
* note: all pictures were taken from the streaming video, sorry for the poor quality
Congratulations to all the IM World Championship finishers. You ARE the top endurance athletes in the world!