Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who will win Kona?

well I'll admit it I'm a tri addict/ pundit. I spend my hours at the office between customers and projects scouring Slowtwitch and Xtri and now with Rutger Beke succumbing to a foot injury I'm debating on who my picks for Kona will be. So with out futher ado here are my favorites, dark horses and sentimentals.

The Men's Race


Macca (AUS): Ok no brainer Chris "Badass" McCormack is at the top of my favorites list. Insane run split, not afraid to take crazy risks when everything goes right you end up with a victory lap marathon like 2007 if it doesn't well...just check out the 2002 You Tube Highlights.

Craig Alexanader (AUS): If Macca's off this guy is on. Last year his insane marathon split ( and his ability to tackle the cruel Hawaiian heat) gave him the victory he's fast he's strong and you know he's going to kick ass and take names.

Terrenzo Bonzone (NZL): Ok I have to put a kiwi in here and sadly it's not Cam Brown. Bonzone finished second in his 1st full Ironman in Taupo in March. He's got a solid run and bike split and he's been testing out the Shiv with Macca in the lava fields. Granted Taupo and Kona are completely different races....

Normann Stadler (GER): He's training with Chris Carmichael, he owns the fastest Kona bike split ever, and with Sindballe retiring the only real threat he has to his lead in to T-2 is Chris Lieto. Unlike Lieto's track record he has been able to hold on through out the run beating Peter Reid in 2004 and Macca in 2006, last year it looked like he was going to do it again until he cramped up in the lava fields but still he took a suck it up pill and finished 12th a far cry from his 2005 flat f**king tire meltdown.

Dark Horse:
Andy Potts (USA): Ok the Ironman isn't won in the swim but still Potts held on the finish 7th in his first Ironman after leading the swim. I think he can shatter the myth the the Ironman can't be won by a stellar performance in the swim ( granted you really do need a bitching bike split to build a coushion.)...the question is will 2009 be his year.

Sentimental Favorites:

Cam Brown (NZL): This guy has finshed consistently in the top-5 and as high as second. He's not getting any younger and I would love to see him win this thing once before he rides into the sunset.

Chris Lieto (USA): With the arrival of Andy Potts last year and his inability to handle the Kona Heat Lieto dropped from second overall to oblivion. The preceding year he led a good chunk of the marathon only to succumb to the heat in the energy lab where he lost the lead the Macca, and then highest American rights to Tim DeBoom. Put in two heart wrenching losses to Craig Alexander at Hawaii 70.3 and Boisie 70.3 and I can't help to feel for the guy. Seriously if he rolls into T-2 with a 15 min. Lead and manages to beat Crowie in flat out sprint for the line I will be one extremely happy camper.

The women


Chrissie Wellington (GBR): Got a flat tire lost 10 minutes on the bike and still managed to comeback and spank the women's field. Seriously the last Chick to win by that much was a Doped up Nina Kraft...who then got the title stripped from her. Add to it she's an absolute girl scout who was aiding starving kids in the third world before she took up this hobby and it's hard not to cheer for her.

Dark Horses
Ok here's my list of the runner's up.... I mean people who might have a shot at Chrissie

Belinda Granger (AUS): She won Hawaii 70.3 she has a fast swim a fast bike, and a solid run. Seriously if Wellington's drive train explodes in the Lava fields she'd be a contender.

Mirinda Cafree (AUS): A shit load of 70.3 wins and a victory at REV3 I'd take her seriously.

Dutch chick who was 2nd in 08. I would like to put up the chicks who were second last year but I have no clue how to spell Valvendarlarken or what ever her name is...but all I know is she set the day's fastes bike split in 08, again if something happens to Wellington she'd be right in the thick of it.


Bree Wee (USA): If this thing was scripted this would be the perfect feel good story for the NBC highlights...well ok she could be battling lifethreatening illness, or have been orphaned at bith.
She lives in Kona, she trains on course, she's a mom, she's been through divorce, it would be the first USA win in Kona for the women in Godknows how long and for it to be a local I think the island might just explode.
Natascha Badmann (Sui) She was unbeatable, then there was food poisoning then She crashed, she trashed her shoulder, they told her she would never race again, she came back last year and came about 15 miles short of finishing. This year she's in better form, and seriously I would love to see a photo of her passing the new Golden Girl at mile 25 of the marathon with that trade mark smile...granted age is starting to show....and the era of the Swiss Miss might be over.
Nina Kraft (Ger): ok I know we're supposed to forever shun dopers and wish death and plauge upon their houses but it's been 5 years. She's done her time, it's easy to understand why she did it and she did come forward quickly, there was no long drawn out proceedure she came forward, she confessed within 24 hours took her whacks and came back. She's good in the heat, she's won IMKY and IMFL she was battling the likes of Badmann a Lori Bowden in their haydays...I would like to see her win, just once, so she could prove that she was always capable of winning and didn't need the goddamn EPO to do it.
Alrght those are my picks I know I left off some great athletes I know I started some contorversey with the last pick, but there's my list. Where's yours?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today we ride for tomorrow we die...

or go back to work...whatever is less permanent...

I went out for a tune up ride with Josie from Hartford to Granville Mass. and back again. About 56 miles. Most of the ride is pretty uneventful. There are a lot of stops and traffic lights as you make your way out of Hartford ( along with a lot of switch backs I was having Providence 70.3 night mares at this point.) You pass through West Hartford, shoot past Uconn Law School and then it's out on to roads you only know by Route Numbers Route 183 through Bloomfield, then 189 you stay on it on what looks like a limited access high way with exits and merge lanes, it reminded me of the drive out of Auckland back in March where there were bike lanes along Route 1 and warnings to cyclists to mind cars merging on and off the high way. Then you're out in Bumpkin noted by the crushed beer cans of Busch Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon in the shoulder. As we rode out I noticed that while the rode looked flat I was really having to push to stay above 16mph. We approached the State Border and hit a couple of rollers, then as soon as we passed in to Massachusetts we got the biggest and longest whiff of Cow Dung. As we passed by a fairly large dairy farm. As Josie put it "Massachusetts stinks!*" We rode through the rollers to a little farm stand and then turned around to head back. As we flew back into Bumpkinville....I mean Granby, CT the reason we struggled so long to get out there became clear...we had been going gradually up hill the whole time and now were reaping the benefits of the descent. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful but all in all Josie looks ready for Redman this weekend.

So that was it for me, I better go before the Barista makes me buy something.


*this reference refers to The Western, MA town of Granville and one particular stretch of road passing said dairy farm and not the whole Commonwealth...granted I would glady use this phrase in reference to one Major League Baseball team located on Yawkey Way in Boston. GO YANKEES!!!!