After the debacle that was my attempt at Ironman New Zealand in 2012 and the infamous “weather bomb”, plenty has happened in my world (he’s called Archie!) that means I’ve not been quite as close to the Ironman crew as I have in previous years. Every now and then I’ve been able to drop in for a ride and have enjoyed watching the Facebook banter as the prep has gone on, but it is still a great community to be part of, even if from slightly further away and I have so many people to shout at on Sunday!
Race day is the culmination of so much hard work and I’m really looking forward to cheering everyone on and seeing some great results, so notable mentions:
Kristy Hallett & Greg Farrell – the two fastest age groupers from last year stepping up to the Pro race this year, can’t wait to see how they go (Kristy had the fastest age-group Ironman time in the world - pretty good stat!). I know Kristy’s training was impacted by the ‘Sunny’ incident but am sure the smiling assassin will still be doing her best to mow down the opposition on the run. Two seriously hard working athletes who are pretty inspirational (when working at IMWA in 2010, Greg was up and out the door at 4am to get a long ride in early – pushes himself to the limit every time)
Graeme Smart – by far the best facebook banter subject/provider for the season, has kept me endlessly entertained. Gra Gra’s ego will certainly get to the finish line in double quick time, hopefully the legs can just hang on for the ride!! Either way the photos will be top quality
Joost van Vliet – I suspect there has been a little more swim training than last year (not sure last year’s benchmark was particularly difficult to beat) so although he will give away a bit of time in the water, I have no doubt he’ll be motoring through the field on the bike, and hopefully can hang tough on the run.
Ollie Allan – Ollie takes a good deal of responsibility for getting me into the sport, going to be difficult to top last year’s performance but he looks lean and mean to me and you can bet there will be no half measures.
Sarah Grove – this has been some time in the making and I suspect that approach is going to pay dividends for the pocket rocket. I can smell a trip to the big Island for her and her little bike!!
Brett Archbold – My facebook feed tells me the hard yards have been done and then some. Have enjoyed following recent races where Brett has got himself in great positions to have a dig at a Kona spot but just not quite been able to hang on to the pace, am sure that this race will see him putting it all on the line again. I have a feeling he’ll go a little better than when he had the pleasure of me shuffling past him in Busso when his back had given up the ghost!
Dale / Greg / Paul / Jeanette – You lot just never stop, plenty of experience amongst this bunch!!
Xavier Coppock – Following any updates about his training just makes me tired, some monster km’s! Knows what it takes to get the job done and as ever I’d expect to see a ripping bike split to get him right to the pointy end of the race, I suspect the windy bike that looks likely could help him out.
Steve Davis – respect for getting to the start line so soon after the arrival of the little guy! Archie is already in intense training for the Ironman Melbourne show down in 2030!
Zoe Ferguson – super mum and hard as nails!! Can’t see any weaknesses across swim, bike or run and I have no doubt that if the day pans out as it should, Zoe will be up there challenging for the Kona slots.
Ralph Glatz – the German uber-biker! And another one who was in top shape for NZ last year and got “weather-bombed!” I hope he has the race that his prep deserves
Stephen Hadley – I have a feeling not many Age-Groupers will see this bloke all day, anyone in his AG who is ahead of him by the run should be looking over their shoulder!
Bryce Leigh – Another who will be racing hard for a top age-group finish, Bryce seems to be a great racer and when I’ve bumped into him recently he’s looked like he needs a good meal (and a shave!) so he must be ready to go!
Dale Martin – another uber-biker, wins the prize for the person who demoralises you most when you are on the velodrome as he just keeps rolling past lap after lap when you are busting your balls!!
Cam Pegg – one of the Busso 2010 crew, have no idea how his prep has been but hope he has a cracking race!
Dean Hawkins – Looked nice and easy on course at Portarlington last week, a decent pb on offer for Deano I suspect.
Roofi – Looking pretty lean from what I can tell, hopefully recent injuries keep away, and always good to see someone rocking out the softride
Brianna Scarlett – Another popping their Ironman cherry! – has clearly done all the hard work and it’ll be awesome to see her get to that line on Sunday evening.
Nathan Sims – another new Dad backing up from a difficult race in Busso – hopefully he can unleash that Melbourne marathon run speed on course on Sunday.
Nick Sissons – sounds like he may be in for a long walk on Sunday given recent injuries so I suspect Nick will be ripping the bike course up as he loves to.
Paul Walker – Ironman is hard, Ironman with diabetes is beyond belief, can’t wait for another to get redemption from IMNZ 2012!
Matt Green – hopefully there is not too much kinesio tape required!!
Rad Kotowski – wishing that the cramps stay in bed for the day!
Rowdy / Margaret M / Andy Wood-Rich / Evalin Ling – Ironman virgins who have been around the sport for a while, hope you all enjoy the experience!
Sorry to those I have missed, it wasn’t intentional and I will still shout at you very loudly!! As an Ironman fan, there is also the small matter of a great Pro race to keep me interested for the early part of the day, my picks are as follows:
1. Marino Vanhoenacker – still have memories of him from my first Ironman, I was convinced it was a motorbike not an athlete – pb of 7.45 says it all
3. Jordan Rapp
1. Caroline Steffan – will be keeping plenty of the male pro’s honest and expecting her to smash the female race to bits.
2. Meredith Kessler – did IMNZ a few weeks ago but hard as nails
3. Britta Martin
So good luck to all, embrace the suffering on race day, you’ll rarely get to push your body to those places so enjoy the experience! And as a fat American once shouted at Pete Jacobs as he was cramping and suffering 30k into the marathon in Kona:
EAT THE PAIN!!!!!!