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