Before I get to my Kona picks...some random ramblings. Here's Bunny - yes that is what I've named him or her. Bunny, from our estimation is the 5th generation of rabbit to live in our backyard. The rabbits have become so used to us that we can pretty much get within a couple of feet of it before it scurries off. Bunny also only eats grass and weeds. As you can see from my pic I have lots of weeds. Bunny eats weeds, Bunny can stay!
If you're in my age bracket (pushing Fitty) then you know about Thrills gum. I stumbled upon some in a variety store. Love their marketing - just acknowledge that it tastes like soap.
Work travel took me to Huntsville. I took a couple of pics on my morning run. Look how beautiful it is - no filter. Awesome!
Check it out! My Durango, aka the Redneck Vessel, made it to 400, 000km. I love this truck although it's definitely on borrowed time. It's taken me on so many trips and to so many races.
Now on to the festivities! It's Hawaii Ironman time!! This year's field is probably the most competitive in history. The former ITU guys and gals have upped the game. So, without further ado, my picks. First the men:
Jan Frodeno. Last year he was third despite a flat tire and a penalty on the bike. He dominated both Germany and the 70.3 World Champs. He really has no weakness and if he didn't have the flat (which led to the penalty) he'd have likely won the race last year.
Sebastien Kienle. The uber biker is the defending champ so you can't count him out. His biking is outstanding but what really stands out is his run this year. He has outrun Frodeno in their head-to-head meetings this year. If he can limit the damage of his slower swim he may repeat.
Brent McMahon. Going with the Canadian Kona rookie. Former ITU that has proven the long distance suits him. His first 2 ironmans? How about sub 8 hours for both! He really has no weakness. If he can manage the hype and pressure there is no reason he can't be a factor at the front.
Now for the women:
Daniela Ryf. Since her 2nd place to Carfrae last year in Kona, Ryf has gone on to dominate every race she's entered. Most recently she crushed the competition at the 70.3 Worlds by 12 minutes, a massive margin for the distance. While Carfrae ran her down late in the race last year, Ryf will be prepared to go a little quicker and close out this year's race.
Mirinda Carfrae. Like Kienle it's hard to bet against the defending champ given how she "routinely" knocks out 2:50 marathons to close out her wins. What will make the difference is where her swim and bike are at. If there's some improvement there you can definitely swap Ryf for Carfrae in first. At any rate it makes for some awesome racing!
Angela Naeth. Going with another Canadian Kona rookie. Her breakthrough win at Ironman Texas under hot and humid conditions bodes well for Naeth. She did not wilt and handled the pressure well. If the conditions on the bike are difficult it will help her. She is amongst the best riders and handles running in the heat well.
On the local side there are some athletes representing the Golden Horseshoe.
Sharlene Christiansen, who lives just up the road from me, is racing Kona for the first time. She qualified in Cozumel where she place 2nd in the F50-54 AG with a time of 12:12. She's #750
Helene Desrosiers, a TCoB clubmate, is racing Kona for the 2nd time. Helene won her F50-54 AG in Mont Tremblant with a time of 10:52. She's #754
Chris Jocelyn, another TCoB clubmate, is racing Kona for the first time. Chris qualified with a 4th place finish in the M45-49 AG in Mont Tremblant with a time of 9:49. He's #925.
Best of luck to all these athletes - have a great day! I will be cheering from afar and yelling at my computer screen. Get er done!!