I’m an avid fan of Ironman as a spectator sport so I figured it would be great to live blog the whole World Championship race. I’ll start 30 minutes before the pro-race starts or roughly 11:30 AM EST. I’ll go all the way through until 9:00PM until both 2014 World Champs are crowned! I’ll put in personal commentary (a whole ton, to be honest), pictures of the footage as well as all the details that will affect the outcome. If you have predictions about who will win, post them below, perhaps (hint-hint-nudge-nudge) there will be a giveaway for the person who can select both Champions correctly!
11:30 AM: Word is out that Andy Potts is out of the race, there’s no word on a reason. Potts usually pushes the pace on a serious level during the swim. He was All-American swimmer in College and swam the 400-IM at the Olympics before turning to triathlon.
11:45 Potts is suffering from lower leg tendinitis and can’t race. Seems that he wanted to get to race day and see what happened.
12:10 PM: Just wanted to offer a huge vote of support to my Timex teammates Kathryn Taylor, Matt Hanson, Hana Sykorova, and Craig Jerom, go get them guys!
12:20: It looks like some beautiful conditions, but that could change quite quickly.
12:25: I’m intrigued to see how TJ Tollakson does this year after failing to qualify last year. I think he put whole hearted focus on racing here today so I expect he’ll try to walk the fine line between disaster and victory.
12:32: HERE WE GO!
12:34: The water looks beautifully calm, an anomaly for Kona
12:44: These guys need to dump Kienle if they want to have any chance in my mind. If he comes out with the leaders, I think it’ll be gave over at least in the sense that he’ll demolish the field on the bike.
12:50: Watching the AG athletes get in to the water, just want to wish them all the best of luck.
12:50: MBE swimming with a broken collarbone is mind blowing to me. If she’s in that front group, I’ll be in permanent awe of her.
12:55: Sonja Tajsich is in the lead group, she had a blistering run and bike last year, if she doesn’t lose time in the swim, she could be the woman to beat.
1:00: Word is that Andy Raelert has been dropped. My bet is that there’s an injury that’s been nagging him, he was trounced last month in Muskoka, I don’t think he’ll be a factor today.
1:15: Almost all the big contenders for the men are in the lead group, the bike will be interesting to say the least
1:25: Everyone is there, absolutely nothing to indicate who has the drop.
1:30: Steffen, Crawford, Joyce, Stevens and a whole ton of women contenders got out together.
1:35: Both pro races are absolutely wide open. You have a dozen people in both races who I think have a plausible chance of winning and no one has lost any big time.
1:38: Andy Potts is a class-act. Matt Lieto wanted to move on and Potts asked to comment on the women’s race to give the women credit where credit was due.
1:45: Starky seems like he’s in total control. I’d love to know what he’s thinking right now.
2:02: Pete Jacobs is doing his best to keep Starky in range, but I don’t know how doable that is going to be.
2:11: Crowie had a flat very early in the bike but neutral repair swapped him a new wheel and he lost almost no time.
2:19: Starky is going 48 MPH. Yes, you read that correctly, MILES per hour.
2:31: We’re just under 1/4 of the way in to the bike and Starky’s lead is now at two minutes. The decent from Hawi is where we’re going to see that gap really shoot up I think.
2:42: The women race is ever changing and is a really interesting dynamic. Stevens is trying to keep things high.
2:53: I’m intrigued to see if the men let Starky escape or risk blowing up to keep him close(ish)
2:57: Kienle seems to be making up time quickly, but I’m intrigued to see if he can catch Starky
3:12: interesting that the gap for Starky has held at 2:30, maybe thats the benchmark that the guys are comfortable with?
3:16: Everyone made the swim cutoff! That’s fantastic!
3:26: Splits show that Carfrae (hereafter Rinny) isn’t losing time to the leaders. She’s one of the fastest runners in the sport and if she gets off within a few minutes of the race leader, I think she’ll take the win.
3:31: I picked Heather Wurtele to finish 5th, but right now she’s 6 minutes back and I don’t think she’ll crack a very competitive women’s field top five at this rate.
3:43: Starky is blowing down the hill from Hawi, the split right after the group makes the decent will be interesting.
3:53: It seems that (Like Matt Lieto is talking about) that guys are keeping a really close eye on Pete Jacobs.
3:58: On the women’s side, it’s really odd to me that Linsey Corbin is so far back, I thought she had potential to do quite well.
4:25: Things have reached a bit of an equilibrium my mind, things are changing but we have a basic idea of how things will probably look off the bike.
4:34: Sonja Tajsich is having a disaster of a day and is twenty minutes back. She’s no longer a factor.
4:50: Rinny is 6 minutes back, but that’s entirely doable for her.
5:02: I think that Starky will blow up on the run but will come back next year and be very much ready to race.
5:09 The runners will prevail today, everyone is within striking distance.
5:40: Cooking dinner doesn’t allow for live blogging! Wurtele continues to lose time, she’s now 13 minutes back.
5:42: Luke McKenzie looks fantastic and he’s not a terrible runner. Perhaps he can run the marathon of his life?
5:47: Starky looks like he has the joints of a 90 year old.
5:47: McKenzie looks fantastic
5:50: McKenzie has a 2:40 gap over Kienle. Kienle doesn’t look that great, like he’s putting some serious effort in. To be fair, he describes his racing style as “Self destruct on the bike and self destruct a second time on the run”
5:55: Van Lierde, Al Sultan both are strong runners and could win.
6:03: Reported that McKenzie is now leading after mile 1.
6:05: Is it too soon to say that Jacobs and Crowie are done?
6:08: I’m really hoping Crowie can pull out a podium finish, maybe even a win. With this being his last appearance in Kona, I think he’ll bury himself on this run.
6:18: McKenzie is actually GAINING time on Freddie and Kienle.
6:18: Starykowicz: “You have to play to your strengths. I have one play, tear the legs off everyone so badly that they can’t chase me down. End of story”. This man is gonna win a title one day.
6:22: Al-Sultan ran a 5:37 mile for mile 1, let’s see if he can hold that pace.
6:28: I debated picking Joyce to win the race, but decided to go with some riskier picks. If Joyce doesn’t have 10+ minutes on Carfrae, I think she’s gonna have a tough time.
6:36: Rinny is only down by 8 minutes. Totally doable.
6:43: McKenzie looks great, Kienle is going 5 seconds faster per mile. Interested to see how long this holds.
7:07: McKenzie is blowing my mind right now.
7:11: Kienle has the terminator look going on. No emotion and pure concentration.
7:30 McKenzie looks like he’s starting to slow ever so slightly. Could be temporary, could be foreshadowing.
7:44: I really feel for Joyce, she’s having an amazing race, but I think that there’s no denying Rinny today.
7:45: There we have it, Freddie Van-Lierde is leading. The question is, will he manage to hold it for another 45 minutes?
7:53: Tajsich drops out.
8:02: Rinny has this, the woman isn’t going to be denied. Rinny is blowing the top off this race.
8:13: Poor Rachel. Game over in my mind, but anything can happen.
8:24: Freddie looks like he’s having some pain right now. If Luke can summon a surge, he’ll might be able to gain some time.
8:30: O’Donnel is showing that he’s finally coming in to his form as an Ironman. I think he needs another few years to contend for the crown, provided he stays healthy.
8:47: 8:12:29. Frederik Van Lierde is the GoPro IRONMAN World Champion.
8:47: So happy for Luke McKenzie.
8:51: Kienle takes, for him, a somewhat disappointing third. I think he’s poised to move up in a few years time.
8:54: Only Kienle was in my top 5, can’t win them all!
9:05: What a day of racing!
9:13: Joyce didn’t lose this race, Carfrae is WINNING it.
9:21: Steffen has been a non factor today.
9:27: No if, buts or what-ifs today, Rinny is a double World Champ.
9:39: Liz Blatchford takes third after Rachel Joyce takes second
9:40: Joyce ran an incredible race and will be tough to beat in the future.
That’s it for me folks, thanks for stopping by!
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