Monday, October 12, 2009

Amazing

Craig Alexander: Two-time Ironman World Champion. What an amazing performance on Saturday. Alexander came off the bike 12 minutes behind Chris Lieto, who absolutely shredded the bike leg. In the famously brutal Hawaiian heat and humidity, Alexander chipped away at the lead, stalking Lieto, pulling back half-minute chunks of time every mile. He had some trouble getting rid of the incredibly-talented Andreas Raelert of Germany, as the two ran stride-for-stride for quite a few miles. However, Crowie eventually was able to drop Raelert, and begin stalking his prey on his own. The pass occurred at around mile 21, as the tough-as-nails Lieto tried to keep pace, but simply could not. Alexander finished 2 minutes ahead of Lieto, in quiet disbelief that he was able to pull it off. He would later say that his main focus "was just to give a good title defense and put in a performance I could be proud of." Crowie, I think you can be pretty damn proud of yourself. You are a true champion.

The courage of Lieto was simply inspiring. To lead a race for that long and not win is heart-breaking, but he raced like you are supposed to: flat out until you have nothing left. He did not win, but he took a huge second-place result, and made Alexander dig incredibly deep into his soul to win. A true champion makes everybody else better. You did that, Chris.

Other notable performances: Raelert is a beast, and took 3rd in his Kona Debut... Chris McCormack fought leg cramps all day, had to walk some during the marathon, and still was able to regain his composure and running stride to finish an incredible 4th place... Rasmus Henning finished 5th... with a BROKEN HAND! Unbelievable. Andy Potts ran himself into 9th place with a 2:52 marathon, in a race dedicated to his recently deceased father-in-law. Great job Andy!

The Women's race was much much else involved. Chrissie Wellington gave us a lesson in how to go about demolishing a field. With a 20-minute gap over the second-place woman, and a new course record in hand, she crossed the line with her trademark smile, and did the Blazeman roll, to remind us that there are more important things that racing. Thank you, Chrissie.
Watching this race on the internet was absolutely surreal. It was the first time I have had the opportunity to watch it on anything else than the NBC 1-hour long show. In the 8 plus hour race, I watched most of it. I could not look away... the racing was so great. The best athletes in the world pouring out their souls in the Hawaiian heat, showing us what the human body and spirit are truly capable of. It makes me want to be better. It makes us all want to be better. Triathlon.

Photos taken from traithlon.competitor.com

2 comments:

  1. i have to say, it bothers the shit out of me that you refer to it as triathlon. like its a god or something. when you say, "i love triathlon", i want to add an S for you...triathlons! you don't say "I love bike race"....why does "triathlon" get this weird status. odd. and i hate it. new pet peeve. a triathlon is an event, and therefore requires an "a" before it or an s after it, whereas you could say "i love basketball...i love soccer. i love triathlonS". i dunno, it just sounds weird as hell man.

    -brendan

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  2. Wouldn't want to upset you, B... fixed it.


    I disagree with you, but I like you.

    I don't see why it is any different that "basketball," or "soccer."

    "Triathlon" is to "Cycling" (sports) as "Triathlons" are to "Bike Races," (specific events).

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