Well upon searching the competitior list there are only 4 guys that beat me in my Age group last year re-upping for the 2009 edition.
One of them, Shanon Barnett is now a pro, which after his AG winning time last year, is fitting. I think he beat Jo Lawn ( the women's pro winner) because he was the last guy top pass me before they lapped me. He beats Cam Brown I owe him a beer.
Jared Bowden who now seems to be the favorite. The guy even swims faster than me...he pulled a 49:51 last year thoroughly toasting my 53. His bike Split is a 5:20 but his marathon is on pace with my goal pace...this is the guy I have to stay with if I want to leave with hardware.
Hamish Loveday another big contender not really fast on the swim but the guy is quick on the bike and fast on the run.
Todd Spackman, last year I out swam him, we were dead even on the run, but he had a nice little half hour cushion from the bike, I have to be faster on the bike this time around if I want a podium.
Alright so this scouting report is a little incomplete, I'm sure there's probably some kid in OZ or New Zealand who does sub 2hr.Olympic tri or sub 5hr. Half Ironman saying, "Maybe I'll give this Ironman thing a go." Or some crazy dude in Poland, Russia, or Canada pulling my crazy winter training scheme. I also didn't factor in the guys that finished behind me,I'm sure at least one of them is like " I got beat by some pudgy little Yank ...never again mate!" and then proceeded to go through an animalistic training program that only Sly Stallone would be proud of. One of these X-factor athletes might pound the field into submission but if this year is like last year I stand to finish 4th in my age group, but the thing I tend to realize is that this year is very seldom like last year.