On Saturday October 12, 2013 the best male and female pro triathletes in the world will clash in Kona and here is an Ironman Hawaii World Championships 2013 preview.
Although the favorites going into the race seem to be logical picks, there is very little that is logical or predictable about the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.
Yes of course Peter Jacobs will be out to defend his title and is a podium favorite, but more often than not it’s very difficult to repeat as an Ironman World Champion.
Sebastian Kienle is considered one of the top cyclists in the world of Ironman but can he get himself enough of a lead heading into the marathon to hold off the Calvary charge behind him that is sure to come?
Will Craig Alexander be able to earn himself a spot on the podium after running into problems in 2012?
Not that much has changed since 2012 as far as the pro women favored to vie for the top of the podium.
Leanda Cave is out to defend her 2012 title and once again she will be up against Mirinda Carfrae, Caroline Steffen, and Rachel Joyce who all figure to be in the fight for a spot on the podium.
Mary Beth Ellis has only lost one Ironman race in her career and that was last year in Kona. Of course just a couple of months ago she figured highly to take the top spot on the podium, but is sort of an unknown factor due to a fractured clavicle just six weeks out from the race.
Will she be able to stay close in the 2.4-mile swim. Will she be able to maintain the aero position that is extremely important when fighting the famous Kona headwinds?
The Ironman Triathlon has the ability to sniff out any physical weaknesses whether one is a pro or age-group triathlete. If you are not 100% on Ironman day it’s very difficult to bluff your way through it, but this is one tough pro and if anyone can do it, it’s Mary Beth Ellis.
If you set aside all the favorites to be at or near the top of the standings, there are some intriguing possibilities. Often those who try and pick favorites have blinders on and lose sight of some very talented long-shots that are somewhere in the middle or bottom of the pack as far as qualifying points.
Although Andreas Raelert has recorded the fastest full distance triathlon in history with his 7:41:33 clocking in Roth, Germany in 2011 few pick him to win in Kona 2013.
It’s true that Sebastian Kienle is one of the top Ironman cyclists, but so is Andrew Starykowicz who is listed as the fourth last qualifier. To me he is the real dark horse who could well have the lead going into the marathon and just might surprise a lot of people on October 12, 2013.
let’s not forget that this is the pro triathlete who has posted the fastest 70.3 bike split in history and in 2012 set an Ironman bike split record when he won Ironman Florida 2012……an incredible 4:04:39 bike time.
He also won Ironman 70.3 Muncie 2013 and was strong in all three disciplines. He was over five minutes faster on the bike course than anyone else in the race.
It would be no surprise to see Michelle Vesterby of Denmark break into the top six. She is super-fit and seems very likely to improve greatly on last years 12th place finish.
Over the 35-year history of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, not much has really changed.
The bikes may be faster, but the pros swam just as fast 30 years ago and Dave Scott and Mark Allen have still run the two fastest Ironman Hawaii marathons and that was back in the 1980’s.
The winds still howl and along with the unrelenting heat Ironman Hawaii has brought many of the best Ironman pros to their knees over the years.
For many pros it’s place high up or not at all and it would be no surprise to see 20% of the pros drop out of Ironman 2013. Of the 85 pros that means 17 or so will probably call it a day before they reach the finish line.
One of the most enduring qualities of Ironman Hawaii is that you just never know who is going to have a remarkable day and surprise the Hell out of everyone who thought they had it all figured out.
They end up saying, who the heck is that out in front?
Hey! Come to think of it, isn’t that exactly what they said at Ironman Hawaii on October 13, 2007 when an unknown pro named Chrissie Wellington stormed to the front and never looked back for the rest of her career?