Ironman World Championship PreviewOctober 9, 2012By Roger Hospedales
The biggest day in Ironman racing will soon be upon us with the Ironman World Championship set to take place this coming Saturday October 13.
Australian Craig Alexander is back to defend and is after his fourth Ironman World title. The obvious favourite, Alexander will surely not have a clear road to the top of the podium with a start list packed with dangerous men.
Two-time Ironman World champion Chris McCormack is back and will be packing some extra speed thanks to his venture into ITU racing for the majority of this past year. Many seem to be taking McCormack lightly and this is when he is most dangerous. Last year K-Swiss offered the Raelert brothers (Andreas and Michael) a one million dollar payday if they could finish first and second. Michael was injured last year and that prize was supposed to be pushed to this year. Regardless, Andreas will be itching to finally top the podium and Michael will want to add to his two Ironman 70.3 World titles.
American Jordan Rapp is making his Kona debut on the back of two Ironman wins in Texas and New York where he ran well, and we can look forward to German Sebastian Kienle, the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, making things happen during the bike. But the names don’t stop there, there’s Andy Potts, Marino Vanhoenacker (owner of the fastest ever official Ironman time of 7:45:59), Faris Al-Sultan, Pete Jacobs, Cameron Brown, Tim O’Donnell, Greg Bennett, Rasmus Henning (retirement race), and Canadian Trevor Wurtele just to name a few more. Check out the rest below.
With defending champion Chrissie Wellington taking the year off, you can take one look at the pro women’s start list (below) and make a case for any number of women to claim the 2012 World title.
You can never count out a former champion and Australian Mirinda Carfrae has not been lighting things up this season but the fast running Carfrae performs well in Hawaii and can certainly salvage her year with a win.
Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen was fifth last year in Hawaii but has made vast improvements since then. She stunned the triathlon world with a near world record performance (8:34:51) at Ironman Melbourne in March, dominating many of the women on this start list like Carfrae, Rachel Joyce, Joana Lawn, Gina Crawford, Rebekah Keat, and Jessica Jacobs. Also a favourite is Leanda Cave (GBR) who is looking primed for the win after taking the Ironman 70.3 Championship in September, and American Mary Beth Ellis who’s pretty much won every Ironman race she has done outside of Hawaii.
There are quite a few others to watch for as well including Canadians Heather Wurtele and Sara Gross. Wurtele will look to improve upon her eighth place finish last year. Athletes like Kelly Williamson, Caitlin Snow, Sonja Tajsich, Sofie Goos, and Tine Deckers, Amanda Stevens, and Amy Marsh are all capable of some race day surprises.
Race day coverage begins on ironman.com at 6 am local time (12 noon ET).
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Last year’s results
Top 10 Pro Men
1 8:03:56 Alexander, Craig AUS 51:56 4:24:05 2:44:03
2 8:09:11 Jacobs, Pete AUS 51:38 4:31:03 2:42:29
3 8:11:07 Raelert, Andreas GER 51:58 4:26:52 2:47:48
4 8:12:58 Bockel, Dirk LUX 51:44 4:24:17 2:53:04
5 8:20:12 Bracht, Timo GER 53:37 4:35:07 2:47:26
6 8:21:07 Aigroz, Mike SWI 52:31 4:30:44 2:54:08
7 8:22:15 Tissink, Raynard RSA 52:08 4:28:40 2:56:37
8 8:23:19 Boecherer, Andi GER 51:49 4:25:46 3:01:44
9 8:25:42 McKenzie, Luke USA 51:47 4:24:16 3:05:54
10 8:27:18 Al-Sultan, Faris GER 51:55 4:29:32 3:01:41
Top 10 Pro Women
1 8:55:08 Wellington, Chrissie GBR 1:01:03 4:56:53 2:52:41
2 8:57:57 Carfrae, Mirinda AUS 57:17 5:04:17 2:52:09
3 9:03:29 Cave, Leanda GBR 53:54 4:58:41 3:06:36
4 9:06:57 Joyce, Rachel GBR 53:56 4:58:57 3:09:55
5 9:07:32 Steffen, Caroline SWI 57:15 4:50:26 3:15:17
6 9:15:00 Thuerig, Karin SWI 1:12:19 4:44:19 3:13:31
7 9:15:17 Tajsich, Sonja GER 1:06:57 4:58:55 3:04:46
8 9:17:56 Wurtele, Heather CAN 58:43 4:59:10 3:15:29
9 9:18:11 Snow, Caitlin USA 58:47 5:20:57 2:53:50
10 9:19:52 Berasategui, Virginia ESP 58:44 5:03:31 3:12:50