Well I'm noticing a spike on my blog especially on last year's who will win Kona Post. This year I've been sort of out of the loop as I didn't race long course or spend hours looming over Slowtwitch and Xtri. I didn't really pay attention to Ironman results or spend hours tabulating and cheering and following some of the best athletes in world in their massive athletic endeavors. essentially my participation in tri has been pretty lackluster this season. Part of it is envy of the guys going out and living the dream, the other part has been I've just got bigger worries this season.
Still people are looking for Kona predictions so I guess I better not disappoint.
I'm going to err on the side of caution and state the obvious: Craig Alexander is the clear ,hands down favorite and Lord have mercy on anyone who thinks they can woop him. Crowie can run and unless your name is Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck, he will run you down no matter how good your bike split is. Lieto knows it, Sindbale knew it, and at Rev3 Matty Reed and Terenzo Bonzone learned it. Still since Mark Allen retired no man has won 3 in a row. Not Peter Reid, not Tim DeBoom, No body. Trends are made to be broken and Crowie will have a stellar field gunning for him but he has the skills to pull the hat trick.
Still as much Crowie is the favorite I like Terenzo Bonzone. Kid's been tearing it up on the 70.3 scene this year, and he had a pretty stellar run at Ironman New Zealand. Other guy to watch out for from the land of the Long White Cloud is Cameron Brown as much as Cam maybe over the hill he can still bring the heat if he wants to. Likewise Macca's struggled the last two years and this year he has been off the radar, still he has passion and you can bet he'll bring his A-game.
Sentimentally I'm hoping Chris Lieto can haul some ass and try to get the good ol' US and A back to the top step of the podium. Although the Andy Potts showed his balls at Ironman CDA and might be the best hope for the stars and stripes. Lieto is my go to guy. I fully expect him to go after Normann Stadler's bike record, and hopefully he'll have enough padding to get the job done.
Others to watch for:
Rutger Beke, this guy is a sleeper but he always performs well. He won Cozmuel last year and has one of the best run legs in the sport. If something happens to Crowie He can pick up the slack.
Eneko Llanos dude won Abu Dhabi, and is making an LD comeback, and speaking of comebacks what's the deal with Faris Al Sultan? Not to mention Henning who seems to be keeping the trend of Scandanvians who do obsurded well alive. Homeboy knows how to win in the heat, although this is only his second Kona race. I say in a couple of years he'll be the favorite although I still think he'll top 5.I'm going to go out on a limb and here's my prediction for the men's top 10.
1. Craig Alexander
2. Rutger Beke
3. Chris Lieto
4. Andy Potts
7. Enenko Llanos
9. Faris Al Sultan
10. Michael Lovato
The Women: I guess the women's race should be classified as Chrissie Wellington versus the world. try as I might I just can not hate this chick. It's as if she's Paula Radcliff, with a splash of Alberto Contador, a smidge of Rebecca Adlington ( women's 400m free gold medal winner.) mixed with Mother Theresa. Seriously she'll stop in the middle of a race to help a group of orphans build a school still set a world record and then give half her prize cash to charity...seriously she's in the dictionary under the definition of Girl Scout. Everyone is throwing around comparisons to Paula Newby Fraser but PNF still had strong competition from Erin Baker, Karen Smyers and Natascha Badmann, Chrissie's in a league of her own.
So then the argument is who can give Wellington a run for her money.
Sam McGlone is coming back strong, Mirinda Cafree is fast and powerful. Then you've got women like Belinda Granger and Rebekah Keat who are proven and strong. Gina Crawford is quick, then throw in Canada's secret weapon Magali Tisseyre Bree Wee is always a sentimental favorite, seriously want to see the island explode watch a local girl win the Ironman. Lindsay Corburn is an animal, and just got her taste of the winner's circle. Then there are sleepers like Jo Lawn who's always solid, Van Vlerken , seriously the fight for second in the women's race is almost as competitive as the men's race, granted maybe someone will step up and come out of nowhere and challenge Queen Chrissie's dominance....
Women's Top 10 Predictions
1. Chrissie Wellington and she'll top 10 overall.
2. Yvonne VanVlerken
4. Sam Mc Glone
5. Belinda Granger
6. Lindsay Corburn
7. Rebekah Keat
8. Mirinda Cafrae
9. Gina Crawford
I know I'm leaving out some big names, and likewise crazy stuff happens on the big island, but for the limited research I was able to do this year these are my Predictions. To everyone racing on the Big Island Good Luck this weekend.