Thursday, October 11, 2012

IM World Champ Preview: The Men

Good morning! 5:30am here in Kona and I've already had my coffee; getting ready to head out on a run before the underpants run! But first, part two of my Ironman World Championship preview.... Just a little warning, there are some holes in this one with missing stats on some of the guys. I hate publishing unfinished work, even on a silly little blog like this, but I may not have time to update it any time soon. I will try to update it from the Media Center later this afternoon! Thanks for understanding.

Kona: The Men

Craig Alexander

Crowie hasn’t raced a lot this year, but that’s because he’s busy with sponsors and doesn’t want to leave his family much. In his case, I say do what you have to, race when it matters, and nothing else! He hammered Ironman Melbourne earlier this year going 7:57:44, then 1st in Eagelman with a speedy 1:15:07 run. What’s up, then with the 9th at Racine? Anyways, Kona this year to some degree seems to be all about Crowie and Macca, but I think Crowie has more than Macca to worry about, especially on the run.

2012 Results:
1st Ironman Melbourne, Asia-Pacific Championships 
1st Eagelman 70.3
9th Racine 70.3 
2nd Vegas

Kona Results:
2011- 1st

Chris McCormack

After the whirlwind season he’s had, I’m glad to see him back to Kona. I think the short-course speed he gained during the Olympic stint will only serve to help him — he has enough years of base volume to draw off and get back quickly. Just look at the ITU Long Distance Champs. I know Macca is a hard-working dude even outside training. I’m curious to learn more about this MX12 thing. Not to mention, yesterday I attended an exclusive press conference (like, at his oceanfront house with only a few people kind of exclusive) where Macca announced a 10-year partnership with the Challenge Family races -- meaning at least 5 more years of racing in his future, and embarking on the business side of triathlon. Interesting. 

2012 Results:
This is one guy whose results I didn’t compile, except:
1st ITU Long Distance Champs
18th HyVee 1:59:47, had a penalty

Kona Results:
2010- 1st
2009- 4th
2007- 1st
2006 and earlier.... working on it (surprised I don't have this memorized after reading his book!)

Pete Jacobs

Just recently he was quoted saying he wants to run 2:37 in Kona this year. I said months ago that I think he will be the one to break 2:40 this year. Will it be a bunch of hype? We’ll see, but I know he has what it takes. It will really come down to his bike. At only 30 years old, he’s been top 10 in Hawaii for the past 3 yrs now (8th ’09, 9th ’10 w penalty and last year was his best to date with 2nd going 8:09:11 with the fastest run 2:42:29 (the year prior he also ran the fastest 2:41:05), so even if he doesn’t break 2:40 this year, he will eventually. As long as he stays injury free, which seems to be an issue for him. This year he had a pinched nerve in glute/hip, and said he has suffered injury the past several years, forcing time off. Also of note, he was 31 min behind Potts at IMLP and then won Philippenes for the 3rd straight year.

2012 Results:
5th Urban Hotel Long Course Geelong      
1st Long Course Triathlon Huskisson     
1st Coral Coast 5150      
1st Cairns Ironman 70.3
4th Syracuse Ironman 70.3
6th New York 5150
2nd Ironman Lake Placid
1st Philippines Ironman 70.3 

Kona Results:
2010-top-5 or top-10 (says Pedro Gomes who's sitting next to me right now)....
2009 and earlier- working on it...

Andreas Raelert


2012 Results:
2nd Ironman 70.3 Austria
1st ETU Challenge Kraichgau Euro Champs
4th Ironman Frankfurter Sparkasse IM Euro Championships
1st Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl, just over a month from kona

Kona results:
2010- 2nd
2009- 3rd

Jordan Rapp

All I can say is finally! Yay Rappstar! Excited for this one. He now has five Ironman titles to his name, including two earned this year. He’s survived a near-death accident…. he’s ready for Kona. It's hard to predict how he'll do (or anyone for that matter), but I am optimistic. I'm sure he's scientifically dialed in his race plan to a tee!

2012 Results:
IM Texas Champ
IM NYC Champ
Vegas Leadman

Marino Vanhoenacker

Started off 2012 strong with four big races in a short period of time, winning two. He took a short break to build up for the next two big ones. Win at Euro champs, his 6th IM win, ahead of Andreas Raelert. Not surprisingly he took the lead during the bike, then held on running a 2:48:19, for 8:03:31 overall and his sixth Ironman win. Looks like he’s in good form for Kona.

2012 Results:
1st IM South Africa
1st IMNZ 70.3
8th Ironman 70.3 Texas
3rd April Samui Triathlon
1st Frankfurter Sparkasse (the Ironman Euro Championships)

Kona Results:
2011-DNF (swim/bike splits only) – started run and had no legs.
2010- 3rd
2008- 22nd 

Cameron Brown

See those Kona results? I interviewed Brown earlier this year, and he said the only reason he’s doing Kona again is because he surprised himself with how well he did at Ironman Melbourne (second to Crowie) and felt that he had to toe the line in Hawaii at least one more time. I love that spirit, and I love how Brown’s results are usuallt always good, but even the occisional bad race never gets the best of him. Just in case you’ve been under a rock that’s anti-triathlon, Brown has won IM New Zealand 10 times. No one else can touch a record like that. 

2012 Results:
1st NZ half iron champs 
3rd NZ 70.3 (not a full this year)
2nd IM Melbourne, to crowie 8:00:12
9th Samui International triathlon 9th
2nd IM Cairns
4th Challenge Roth 
2nd Philippines 70.3

Kona Results:
2011- DNF 
2010- 17th 
2009- 22nd
2008- 5th
2006- 8th
2005- 2nd
2004- 34th
2003- 3rd
2002- 3rd
2001- 2nd
2000- 26th

Andy Potts

Just interviewed Andy on Monday on the podcast. Basically, I think he’s ready for a top-5. Last year his focus was elsewhere, thus a not so great Kona. The year before that, he said just sucked. But this year his focus IS Ironman and Kona, and he’s not sucking. He won IMLP (third IM win) from the beginning and said he recovered better than ever from that. He thinks his body is finally “getting” Ironman, and it shows in his lean physique too. When asked he said he expects to run even faster than that 2:52 he posted in ’08 (?). His other races this year haven’t been to shabby either.
Listen to my podcast with him at

2012 Results:
1st Oceanside (4x champ)
1st St Croix
2nd CapTex Triathlon Race to the Toyota Cup
1st Escape from Alcatraz (5x time champ)
2nd Philadelphia Triathlon Race to the Toyota Cup
2nd Minneapolis Triathlon Race to the Toyota Cup
1st IM Lake Placid
5th Vegas 70.3 Worlds

Kona Results:
2011- 17th

Dirk Bockel

Another German machine who can hammer — last year he PR’d his Hawaii bike and almost got on the podium. This year he looks even stronger and more focused, with a win and course record at Regensburg and third at the ITU LD Champs.

2012 Results:
6th Abu Dhabi
7th Samui Triathlon
1st IM Regensburg, course record
1st Chiemsee Triathlon
3rd ITU LD WC (macca 1st)

Kona Results:
2011- 4th
2010- 10th
2009- 7th

Timo Bracht

He wanted to win Roth this year but that slipped away from him sadly. He also lost another Challenge race to Andreas Raelert not too long ago. But Timo is still a powerhouse, in 2011 he had two Ironman wins and a best-ever 5th in Kona, with the third fastest run.

2012 Results:
Int. Olympic Triathlon Mallorca
1st Triathlon RheinNeckar Cup Mussbach
6th ETU Challenge Kraichgau Euro Champs
4th Sparkassen City Triathlon Heilbronn
2nd Challenge Roth
4th Frankfurt City Triathlon
Triathlon RheinNeckar Cup Viernheim
2nd Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl (behind andreas raelert)

Kona Results:
2009- 6th
2008- 5th


  1. ahhhhh yes, but you have to take into account that Dirk Bockel injured his hand recently while in Kona on a run. He says he may have fractured it...that could affect his swim and ability to get into the lead pack on the bike

  2. T- Very good point about Dirk. A total bummer. Apparently he hit his hand on a car door during training, and it's not too great. Will affect swim for sure. But he's a tough guy and I'm sure he will do his best! Also saw Tom Lowe wearing a wrist guard thing- don't know what happened to him?!

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Also, after talking to and seeing Luke McKenzie yesterday, I would like to add him to my predictions for a top-10 finish! And hopefully a top-5!!!