Here we go again, it’s the night before the Ironman and 1700 of my closest friend are trying to get some rest and going over the race over and over in their mind. I hope they can get some sleep. It is not easy but the key night of sleep is the night before not tonight. Many people are able to not get any sleep and still have a great race.
The day before the race is always a hectic one even or us at the expo. For some reason people wait until the last minute and come to the expo as we are packing to close the thing. Hey I am as guilty of that myself I suppose. Ask the guys at my local bike shop.
Once the expo closed it was what I was waiting for. A little free time for myself. Time to do a little shopping for my kids and wife and pretend I am a tourist. Actually I can never pass for a tourist here. Many people think I am a local. Add surfing shorts and I can get the locals discount.
Later on I got my scooter that I will use to get around during the race. It’s the best way to get around. Mark Allen met me for some sushi after that in the evening and that was the day.
But lets go back to tomorrow and the race. The road to this race it’s a tough one. I can not imagine how I personally finished this race 4 years in a row. The myriad of things that one has to overcome to qualify, train, stay injury free and healthy and finally avoid any obstacle in the race it’s incredible. But then of course how did mark Allen win this race 5 years in a row and one more later? That is a record that will not be broken for a long time.
Just among our 40 athletes I can tell you so many stories of crashes, illnesses, injuries and just about every obstacle that you can think of. But hopefully they can all manage to overcome the obstacles and get to the finish line tomorrow. I will do my best to be there for them.
Speaking of people that can win this race over and over. How can we bet against the defending champions Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington. They have shown this year that they have what it takes to win their titles again. So am I going to bet against them? Maybe.
My men’s predictions. When I raced I never checked the weather for Kona because it can change and the forecasters are never right. But the forecast I just read calls for high of 87 and winds to 10 MPH. Some haze and clouds in the PM. That is a great forecast for this race. So assuming this I have to go with this prediction.
Now just for kicks if the race becomes long because the bike ride is brutally windier I am going to put my money on Chris McCormick to win with Craig Alexander second and Tim DeBoom in third. When this race gets tough the experienced athletes have a huge edge.
The woman’s race should be a landslide win for Chrissie. I do not think anything shakes this girl except one thing. Herself. So if she makes some sort of dummy mistake and looses time she can then be beatable. She needs to get off the bike in first otherwise she can be vulnerable. So barring any wild issue here is my prediction.
Yvonne Van Vlerken
Should Chrissie falter due to something unpredictable, we can move up the other two girls and she will go down the standings.
That is it guys. Glad to see this race starts in a few hours. Stay tuned. Follow Mark as he uses twitter and gives you updates. @markallenonline He will be with the lead vehicle and can give you live super fast updates.