Ironman Hawaii 2012 preview

In this Ironman Hawaii 2012 preview the challenge is to figure out who will rise up to the challenge when the gun sounds to signal the swim start of The Ironman Hawaii World Championships 2012 on Saturday October 13?

Who has what it take to make it to the podium in a field of pro men and women where most likely a dozen or more has what it takes to win the big show?

Ironman Hawaii 2012 preview: Picking the winners.

There are many top male pros in the race who can give Craig Alexander a run for his money and with no Chrissie Wellington on hand to give the women’s field a 20-minute head start before turning them into roadkill on her way to victory the door is wide open for a new female star to shine.

So who will it be?

In a field such as this it is a huge task to pick out the winner and top finishers. Both Peter Jacobs and Andreas Raelert suffered injuries in the past year and if they are not fully recovered, the Hawaii Ironman is sure to sniff it out in the torrid lava fields of the Queen K. Highway.

This is a race that many will believe will come down to the ones who have posted the fastest marathon times over the past few years. However in Hawaii this year it may come down to the best race strategy and not necessarily the historically fastest runner.

Hawaii Ironman 2012 preview

Jordan Rapp wins Ironman Canada 2011


I was at the finish line when Jordan Rapp won Ironman Canada and he wasn’t even breathing hard. In 2012 he comes off wins in Ironman Texas and Ironman New York. He may not have a recorded marathon time as fast as Alexander, but he is a student of the game and if he plays his cards right could steal the win in Kona if he implements a sound strategy and bides his time.

So I will go out on a limb and pick Jordan Rapp to win Ironman Hawaii 2012. The top ten on the list below are my picks to fill in the top spots and the order they will finish.

PRO MEN

Jordan Rapp
Craig Alexander (AUS)
Timothy O’Donnell (USA)
Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL)
Chris McCormack (AUS)
Andreas Raelert (GER)
Greg Bennett (AUS)

Pete Jacobs (AUS)
Cameron Brown (NZL)
Michael Raelert (GER)
Sebastian Kienle (GER)
Timo Bracht (GER)
Jozsef Major (HUN)
Maxim Kriat (UKR)
Marko Albert (EST)
Luke Bell (AUS)
Faris Al-Sultan (GER)
Frederik Van Lierde (BEL)
Daniel Fontana (ITA)
Dirk Bockel (LUX)
Mike Aigroz (SUI)
Mike Schifferle (SUI)
Petr Vabrousek (CZE)
Audrey Lyatskiy (RUS)
Clemente Alonso-McKernan (ESP)
Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI)
Romain Guillaume (FRA)
Trevor Wurtele (CAN)
David Dellow (AUS)
Matthew Russell (USA)
Joe Gambles (AUS)
Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR)
Eneko Llanos (ESP)
Andi Boecherer (GER)
Paul Matthews (AUS)
Sergio Marques (POR)
Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA)
Pedro Gomes (PRT)
Paul Amey (GBR)
Alejandro Santamaria (ESP)
Michael Lovato (USA)
Timothy O’Donnell (USA)
Thomas Thomschke (GER)
Luke McKenzie (AUS)
Trevor Desaut (FRA)
Rasmus Henning (DEN)
Bart Aernouts (BEL)
Cyril Viennot (FRA)
Joshua Rix (AUS)
Tom Lowe (GBR)
Bruno Clerbout (BEL)
Andy Potts (USA)
Christian Brader (GER)
Axel Zeebroek (BEL)

The water is not quite so muddy when it comes to picking a winner for the pro women. Mary Beth Ellis was nothing short of sensational in the run-up to Ironman Hawaii 2011. She won no less than three Ironman races in a space of about six weeks in order to qualify for the big show.

Her final win in that stretch was Ironman Canada in late August 2011. Historically it was always very difficult to pull off the Ironman Canada/Ironman Hawaii double because of the close proximity of the race dates. Canadian pro Peter Reid did it and afterwards said. “I would not recommend it to anyone, it’s just too difficult.”

Hawaii Ironman 2012 preview

Mary Beth Ellis crossing the finish line of IMC 2011. Third victory in 6 weeks.


Sure the pros can say they should be able to race just as well even in that short of a time frame, but I don’t believe that their body is convinced of that and usually they just give up the ghost somewhere late in the bike course or early on in the marathon in Kona.

It was not unexpected that Mary Beth ran into this very problem in Hawaii 2011 and hit the wall.

However her race calendar tells a story of a well-planned journey to Ironman Hawaii 2012 and for anyone following her progress, all things point to her keying on Hawaii and coming in fresh and confident with much less pressure to perform well as was the case in 2011. Mary Beth qualified early on in the 2012 season instead of having to race herself into the ground over the past few months.

Her last race was a victory in Ironman 70.3 France on September 23, 2012. It was a perfect tune-up for Hawaii 2012 as opposed to bashing her brains out running three Ironman races as she did leading into the 2011 World Championships.

In France she won by one second in a last minute sprint to the finish and I remember thinking at the time that she just did enough in order to win without over-extending herself.

For me, it’s Mary Beth all the way and my pick to win Ironman Hawaii 2012.

My top five picks are the top five in the list below. Leanda Cave will most likely go in as the pre-race favorite, but even her sensational foot-speed may not be enough to catch Mary Beth Ellis.

PRO WOMEN

Mary Beth Ellis (USA)
Leanda Cave (GBR)
Caroline Steffen (SUI)
Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
Rachel Joyce (GBR)
Meredith Kessler (USA)
Anja Baranek (GER)
Heather Wurtele (CAN)
Linsey Corbin (USA)
Rebekah Keat (AUS)
Amy Marsh (USA)
Joanna Lawn (NZL)
Kelly Williamson (USA)
Gina Crawford (NZL)
Caitlin Snow (USA)
Simone Brandli (SUI)
Sarah Piampiano (USA)
Natascha Badmann (SUI)
Jessica Jacobs (USA)
Sonja Tajsich (GER)
Sofie Goos (BEL)
Tine Dechers (BEL)
Kristin Moeller (GER)
Amanda Stevens (USA)
Michelle Gailey (AUS)
Susan Dietrich (GER)
Erika Csomor (HUN)
Emi Sakai (JPN)
Michelle Vesterby (DEN)
Sara Gross (CAN)
Mareen Hufe (GER)

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