I remember hearing about Kona years ago when I first started doing triathlons. It was something that seemed so far out of reach I didn’t think twice about it. Then, I find myself 10 years later after multiple Ironman finishes and some great improvements over the years thinking what if? So, where does that leave me last Saturday?
GLUED TO IRONMANLIVE.COM
P.S. Thank you for finally getting your website coverage and athlete tracking to work this year!
Here we go, in no particular order, my top 10 favorite thing about the 2012 Ironman World Championships.
1. Watching the last finisher exit the water. They had about 90 seconds to go and you could hear the crowds, even on line, cheering him in. He popped his head out of the water, walked up the steps to the timing mat at such a leisure pace I wanted to jump into my computer and PUSH him forward. So intense, but SO cool. I hate watching the ones where the people are swimming and swimming and then BAM, the clock hits 2:20 and some official has to tell them sorry, you can not continue. HEARTBREAKING.
2. Fair, evenly given out (to age group & pro as far as I could tell) draft penalties. After reading race report after race report last year talking about pelotons of cyclists flying by, it seemed like the enforcements were out keeping the course honest this year. They even showed coverage of the female pro race, watching and talking about the seconds each pro had to overtake another athlete, and then what the passed athlete had to do in response.
3. Chrissie Wellington. Nuf said. No, really. She wasn’t racing, however, I saw so many pictures of her online. One was of her actually kissing a runner’s feet. Something about calling him the “croc guy.” I heard a lot of recaps of her being at mile 6ish of the marathon smiling, cheering, encouraging every athlete she saw. SO.COOL.
4. Natasha Badman. 6 time IM World Champion. 45 years old and taking 6th place, clocking the fastest female pro bike split of the day. AMAZING.
5. Mile 19ish. Craig Alexander cutting across the road to high five the eventual Men’s Ironman World Champ, Pete Jacobs. CLASS ACT.
6. Sister Madona. I know she DNF’d BUT at 82 years old to be toeing the line with some of the greatest endurance athletes in the world, and NOT for her first time. Also, just ~8 weeks after breaking her age group course record at Ironman Canada. That woman is a legend and another living proof of defying age.
7. Kona inspired. 8 athletes with stories that will drop your jaw, given the opportunity to race in the Ironman World Championships. Cancer survivors, Cancer fighters. Athletes that have overcome and fight every day. I hope they continue this program allowing people with the most unthinkable stories creating awareness and inspiration for everyone.
8. Leanda Cave running her way to first place and surprising everyone, including herself that she has what it takes. Becoming the first ever World Champ at both 70.3 and 140.6. You could see the determination in her face as she made the final pass into first like she meant it.
9. The underpants run. It’s cheesy, it’s obnoxious and it’s inappropriate in so many ways, but who doesn’t go on line or if there in person, take a look at the less than there outfits of all the crazy fit people. Eye candy or TMI?
10. The Blazeman Roll. I don’t know what the total count of people who did the Blazeman roll across the finish line, but I do know that it gave me goosebumps watching Leanda do it. What a mark that young man left in this sport. What a legend.
And, there you have it. My top ten favorite things about the 2012 Ironman World Championships. Hopefully, someday my number one will be witnessing it in person – preferably as a participant!