Tuesday, 15 October 2013

King and Queen of Kona

In the previous years when we were in Australia, because of the time difference, I was only able to catch the later parts of the bike or the start of the run. Well, now being in Canada, we're actually 6 hours ahead of Kona, Hawaii. So I actually get to catch the live streaming from midday onwards. As it was the weekend of Canada thanksgiving (the US one is end of November), we stayed the night in Markham with Li-Ann's relatives for a lovely dinner of turkey and roast beef. We arrived just after the swim start and I was able to watch most of the race up until dinner time. And continued watching on the iPad after I finished dinner, when the pros were in the later stages of the run. I was probably not very sociable but Li-Ann's relatives were very accommodating to allow me to watch me the race.

I'm so happy that Mirinda Rinny Carfrae won her 2nd World Championship with a course record... and 3rd fastest overall (men and women) run time as well. The picture below shows the sheer joy and energy she had as she leaped into her fiance's (TO who did exceptionally well too with a 5th place men's) arms at the finish.

Picture taken from Ironman.com
The men's winner Frederick Van Lierde was a bit of a surprise but looking back at his 3rd place finish last year, it was definitely not a fluke and it clearly showed that being patient and consistent throughout the race will reap massive rewards. But the one I'm most surprised with... and I'm sure I'm not the only one, even Ironman.com did not feature him as one of the contenders... was 2nd place men Luke McKenzie. His cycling prowess showed even more strength on Saturday and he worked on his achilles heel - the run, coming into this race very lean and posting a fast marathon time. Luke was the winner of Ironman Malaysia in 2009, the very same one I did my first ever Ironman.

Picture taken from Slowtwitch.com - Sorry, I can't help but think that he looks a bit like a leprechaun with the green cap and his green skinsuit!
It is a pity to see pre race favourites like Pete PJ Jacobs, Craig Crowie Alexander, Andreas Raelert, Caroline Xena Steffen not living up to their top billing but it only shows that anything can happen on the big island.

A big shout out to my buddy Enrico Varella, Kona legacy competitor who finished in 13:35:35. There was an inside joke as to whether he could beat Hell's Kitchen Gordon Ramsay and he did just that after trailing him after the swim. Well done mate!

Watching the race was simply inspiring and I hope too, that one day I could be on the big island. In the meantime... back into training for next year. I think I am more or less decided on which Ironman race to do. *wink*

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