The 2011 Ironman Triathlon World Championship has the potential to be one of the fastest races to take place in a number of years on the Big Island of Hawaii. Conditions are a bit cooler than they have been in the past and there is a possibility that Chrissie Wellington’s record of 8 hrs 54 mins 2 sec may fall by either Chrissie herself, or a challenger such as Mirinda Carfrae. The mens race may not be fast enough to beat Luc Van Vierde’s record of 8 hrs 4 mins 8 sec – but anything can happen. If the winds die down, a strong mens field might push the pace enough to have an athlete such as Andreas Raeleart to push through.
However in the past couple of years the « island gods » have often shown to make even the fittest athletes crumble in ways that other Ironman courses can’t compare. Anyone remember « the Crawl » from 2007?
I had the chance to ride the entire bike (and run course) today and it is in great condition. The roads are smooth and the wind conditions near the 90 km turn around is calmer than usual. Only time will tell what race conditions will show up race day- and who they will benefit.
Tomorrow we will have a look at the favourites – and the « dark horse » athletes that just may have the breakthrough race of their career.
-Jordan Bryden reporting from race headquarters at the King Kamehameha hotel.
photo credits: Copyright: Jordan Bryden 2010