this, from one of my favorite new sites, First Off the Bike
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Wellington and Alexander rule Kona
The day started off with a bit of wind but this dropped as the athletes jumped into the warm waters of the bay. With the navy SEALS doing there thing and jumping into the bay from a few thousand feet the cannon sounded to send off the pros. All the talk was done and all speculation as now going to end.
The swim was the usual affair with the pros all drifting from the start as the poor officials were getting pasted by them as they tried to restore order. By the time the cannon went it was a bit of free for all with so many edging ahead. By the end of the swim it was Andy Potts who got out ahead of the rest. He proceeded out on the Queen K Highway but was not really expected to ride away with this one. One guy who got out early was British athlete Phil Graves. He is a real talent and had talked up a bike course record pre race. What he was getting was a lesson in the lava fields as he slowly lost hi momentum.
The real momentum was with Chris Lieto as proceeded to write the damage report for this year’s edition of the race. Not content to just sit in the bunch he took off out of Hawi and rode away. The groups splintered on the road with the other athletes not quite knowing how hard to chase. it was decision time for the rest of the group and the end result was a a broken up bunch and pros strung out on the highway.
The women’s race was not going to script for the other contenders. Linsey Corbin and Teresa Macel were nowhere to be seen and Wellington was opening up a lead that would prove insurmountable. The rest of the women were riding hard but making little impact. Wellington had booked a ticket to a sub 5 hour bike time and had not invited anyone else along for the ride.
So it was going to come down to this. Could the hare out run the hound. Crowie had done this before in other races but all the mail pointed to the improved running of Lieto. Throw in upstart Andreas Raelert Chris McCormack and the mix was complete. Macca was the first to crack, walking through some aid stations. Then went Raelert before Crowie was able to pull away front the rest and do what he does best. His marathon time (2:48) was some 14 minutes better than the time set by Lieto. Lights out.
For Wellington she has no challengers except herself and the clock. She is immune from those would take her crown. She’s 8 for 8 over this distance and it would have taken a truck to stop her. While all her competitors imploded she remained calm and continued to apply pressure. In the end it was a new record set on this course and buoyed on by the voice of Ironman Mike Riley she greeted the tape with her trade mark smile and roll across the line. She was then joined by her family to soak up the line and wait a full 19 minutes before young Aussie Mirinda Carfrae ran herself into second with a 2:56. Carfrae’s time was also a course record. Rounding out the top three was Virginia Berasategui.
But the day belonged to Alexander and Wellington. They came into this race with all the pressure on them and delivered on the world’s biggest stage.
- 8:54:02 Wellington, Chrissie 54:31/4:52:07/ 3:03:06
- 9:13:59 Carfrae, Mirinda 58:45/5:14:18/2:56:51
- 9:15:28 Berasategui, Virginia 58:52/5:01:42/3:10:43
- 9:23:43 Macel, Tereza 53:29/5:04:17/3:21:12
- 9:25:48 Keat, Rebekah 57:17/5:15:50/ 3:04:32
- 8:20:21 Alexander, Craig 50:57/4:37:33/2:48:05
- 8:22:56 Lieto, Chris 51:07/4:25:11/ 3:02:35
- 8:24:32 Raelert, Andreas Drage 51:00/4:38:01/2:51:05
- 8:25:20 McCormack, Chris 52:51/4:32:45/ 2:55:59
- 8:28:17 Henning, Rasmus 51:06/4:37:07/ 2:55:33
- 8:28:52 Bracht, Timo 54:30/4:33:49/2:56:27
- 8:29:55 Bockel, Dirk 50:50/4:37:29/2:57:42
- 8:30:15 Jacobs, Pete 50:03/4:38:41/2:57:14
- 8:30:30 Potts, Andy 47:45/4:46:07/2:52:15
- 8:31:44 Al-Sultan, Faris 50:53/4:33:40
firstoffthebike.com’s Kona coverage is presented by Powerbar.