Monday, October 17, 2011

Kona from the armchair

A few comments on Kona (I wasn’t there but I'm going to share my view anyways):

*Craig Alexander is a stud. Chris McCormick had a great race last year but he runs his mouth a bit much for my taste. He went on and on about how Alexander is just an 8:20 IM guy and yes, he’s an incredible runner, but he can’t ride (paraphrasing here). Alexander doesn’t discuss it all. When he was interviewed about this the past year, he just smiled and mentioned that Macca is a friend. Then, he races Vegas 70.3 World Championships and wins the race, not on his run (which was the fastest as usual), but on his second fastest bike split. A month later, he wins Kona in a new record time and has once again, the second fastest bike split! In my opinion, his performance this year makes him arguably the third best triathlete ever behind Mark Allen and Dave Scott.

*Chrissie wellington is a bigger stud. Chrissie moved ahead of Paula Newby Frasier as the greatest female triathlete ever. Please don’t take this too seriously as it’s really my opinion. I do know that Paula has more Kona victories. But Chrissies dominance is truly amazing. If you just look at the splits, it appears that it was a close race with Miranda Cafrae. I like Miranda – I think she’s a brilliant athlete. I don’t mean this in a demeaning way whatsoever, but she and Chrissie aren’t in the same league, and to give her so much attention prior to the race thinking that it could be close between her and Chrissie is an insult to Chrissie. The reason the race was as close as it was is all because Chrissie was in a bad bike accident a week before Kona, and raced with severe road rash and fractured ribs! Dave Scott, her coach, informed her to let all the swimmers go since her swim stroke was compromised. She typically swims 52 minutes in Kona. She swam 1:02. She painfully rode the bike probably 10 minutes slower than she would have had she been healthy. She had close to a three minute lead on Miranda off the bike, and all the so called tri experts felt that Miranda is such a better runner and that she’d run her down. Miranda ran a brilliant 2:52. I think there were only four or five men faster! Chrissie was only 30 seconds slower running a 2:52 as well, and she slowed in the final 800 meters to slap high fives and wave to the crowds. The scary thought is that if she was healthy and hadn’t crashed; she could have been 20 minutes faster, placing her amongst the top 12 men!

*Milos Kostic is the biggest stud. This guy is 70 years old and went 11:45!!! He biked 5:47 and ran 3:52! Again, he’s 70! He won the age group by an hour. Poor Eli Ewens who went 12:45, another amazing time for 70 years old and came in second.

I’ve spoken with a few friends who were there and they said that the lack of winds and a bit of cloud cover made this year’s race the best conditions yet for Kona. That still doesn’t diminish whatsoever the incredible performances.

I can’t wait to get out there to the Big Island in March for my camp. And hopefully again next October.


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