Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 Ford Ironman World Championship - Results

I spent most of the day on Saturday watching the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships live on I missed the start and exit from the swim, but I watched the balance.

Spoiler alert: Don't read the rest if you don't want to know who won!

The men's 2008 Ford Ironman World Champion is Craig Alexander in 08:17:45, which represented a 3 minute improvement over last year's second place performance. Craig lives and trains in Boulder in the summer, so another top level triathlete you could run into during a workout. Keep your eyes open, you know never who you'll run into!

The women's 2008 Ford Ironman World Champion is Chrissie Wellington in 09:06:23, good for 40th overall, defending her title with a convincing 15 minute win over second place.

Some of the interesting points of the race:
** Chrissie Wellington is clearly the top women's triathlete in the world. She won by 15 minutes and that includes 10 minutes standing on the side of the road waiting for tech support to fix a flat tire. If you remove the 10 minute flat time, she wins by 25 minutes and goes under 9 hours. Amazing and she makes it look effortless.
** Chris McCormack was stung by bad luck with a broken gear cable just past the midway point on the bike. Macca was in the top 10 at the time, but was unable to continue due to equipment failure. Macca later joined the online broadcast and he sounded fit, strong and disappointed. He was in the group with Craig Alexander at the time of the bike failure. After catching up with tech support, Macca learned that it would take 20 minutes to fix, he decided the race was lost and decided not to continue. It would have been great to see that finish!
** Andy Potts really surprised me. Andy finished 8th, competing in his very first Iron distance race. Granted, he's the reigning 70.3 World Champion and a two time olympian, but for the first time in Kona, that's an impressive finish. I heard / read that he'd never run past 15 miles (ever) or rode past 100 miles (ever), so that makes it even more impressive. I'd watch out for Andy in the future if he decides to move to Iron distance full time.
** Rutger Beke again exemplified his professionalism. If you watched the Ironman broadcast on NBC last year, you'll recall that they followed one pro triathlete who did not have his "A" race last year, but would not quit out of respect for the other competitors and the race itself. He came back this year for a 4th place finish, really impressive.

It was a good day of watching triathlon. The big disappointment of the day was losing Macca due to equipment failure. I wonder if it would be possible to have backup gear on hand and provide some mechanism/rules for equipment replacement during the race. Frustrating to see the defending champ knocked out due to equipment failure. Or perhaps it's just part of the game and should remain unchanged. What do you think? (Add a comment)

I'll look forward to the NBC broadcast of 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships, likely in December. Hopefully Bicycle Village will again host a viewing party and get Craig Alexander or Chrissie Wellington to speak. (They had Macca last year.)

Checkout all of the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship results at

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1 comment:

Jason G said...

I agree with what looks like your gut opinion. To put that much time and effort into an event and have it all taken from you because an equipment malfunction is tough. Swimming and running are pretty much you vs. nature, but the bike is such a wildcard. It is the one event where, like golf, technology can either make or break your performance. I wish there was a way to make triathlon entirely you vs. nature, but I love cycling and I guess equipment failure will always be part of the game.