Saturday, October 19, 2013

2013 Hawaii Ironman - WOW!!

Some random pics from this year's Hawaii Ironman. Above is men's winner Fredrik Van Lierde - he was strong throughout the day and consistent through all three disciplines. I did not pick him for my top 3 but I should have given his 3rd place showing last year.

Luke McKenzie - breakout race. He pushed the bike and led til the Natural Energy Lab. He didn't blow up and hung on for 2nd. I saw this guy last year in Kona and this year he was about 15lbs lighter - quite unhealthy looking but it seemed to work for him.

Sadly Craig Alexander had a tough day and announced this would be his last Ironman. 3 wins in 6 races - not too bad!

Anticipation before the cannon goes off

A very cool shot of the age groupers start.

Mirinda Carfrae. I picked her for top 3. She had a good ride this year and limited her losses on the bike to about 8 minutes. With her run talent it was only a matter of time. She absolutely crushed the marathon for the win.

Rachael Joyce. I picked her to finish 2nd - the only one I got right! She was steady throughout the day and, if not for Carfrae's running, would have easily won this race.

Luke looking hungry literally.

Liz Blatchford - 3rd place

Rinny ran 2:50.39 breaking her previous record of 2:53. She had the 3rd fastest marathon overall (for BOTH men and women). That is crazy fast!! On the coverage she looked like she was running a 5k.

Alii Drive heading to the finish

Women's winner Carfrae

Men's winner Van Lierde

Women's top 3

I have Ironman Florida in 13 days. I just saw the Pro list for the race and Mirinda Carfrae and Yvonne Van Vlerken (4th in Hawaii) are slated to race to validate for Hawaii IM 2014 - very cool!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Kona Picks!

Ok, so the Big Dance is this weekend. I love it!! All day, live online coverage put up on my big screen. Do I watch ALL day - no. I leave it on and check back in between doing other things. They usually replay the coverage for the week following as well - saw video of me on the Queen K last year, pretty cool!

Anyway, part of the fun is predicting who will shine on the big stage. My picks for the top 3 men and women are:

Pete Jacobs - defending champ. Rounding into form with a recent 70.3 win that blew everyone away. One of the fastest runners ever, one of the top swimmers and proved last year he can bike with the best.

Sebastian Kienle. If it wasn't for a badly timed flat, he may have won last year. Insanely gifted cyclist! He has won 70.3 Worlds twice now. He will punish everyone on the bike and build up a lead. He's good at running with the lead as well. He's not as fast as Crowie or Jacobs but not far off. I predict he loses the lead late in the marathon.

Craig "Crowie" Alexander. Probably the best runner for this hot n' humid course. A 3-time winner. Had a bad race last year due to injury. At 40 years old, may be his last Kona. I believe he'll sit in for the bike letting others do most of the work and unleash during the run. He'll likely go low 2:40s in the marathon to climb up to third for another podium.

Caroline Steffen. Led for most of the day last year and was passed by winner Leanda Cave late into the marathon. Leanda's been injured so should not be a factor in 2013. Caroline is probably the best cyclist in the field and if she improves her marathon 1-2% she will win this race outright.

Rachael Joyce. The Brit has no weaknesses, is strong, and has had a quiet schedule this year to focus on Kona. If healthy and injury-free she has the talent to take this race. It will be interesting to see how she handles the bike with Steffen. If Steffen has a smaller than expected lead after the bike and Joyce is within distance, she may very well take the title.

Mirinda Carfrae. Always the best runner, Rinny has to limit the damage done with time lost on the bike. She cannot stay with the uberbikers - she's always in the position of running them down. By the end of the day she'll be in the mix but the other girls have upped their games on the run and the difference is getting smaller and smaller.
There you go - that's my armchair predictions. Enjoy the race!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October is Awesome!

What a time of year here in Canada. Fall is now making its mark and the leaves are starting to change colour and the temperatures are mild. Nice! October is also Thanksgiving in Canada. I could use the long weekend because I'm peaking for Ironman Florida in early November. Florida will be interesting because of the following: I've never done a flat Ironman, I've never done a Fall Ironman, and I've never done 2 Ironmans in a year (did Placid July 28th). Should be fun.

The other awesome thing about Thanksgiving weekend is that the Hawaii Ironman is on October 12th - Booyah! My usual plan is to set up the race live coverage on the big screen and tune in throughout the day as the excitement unfolds. I love following the top pros  and seeing who decides to take risks and who blows up.

Kailua Bay is spectacular.

Alii Drive and the finish line. With the long weekend I will go long in swim, bike and run as well as I enter my big week for Ironman Florida. Lovin it!!