In February 1978, fifteen people gathered in Waikiki to take on the Ironman challenge. They were handed a few pieces of paper with some rules and a brief course description. The past page read, “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life.” The changes this event, the qualification procedures, the business, the profit and level of this now global cooperation has seen is huge from its small and humble beginnings. However this strapline and meaning behind it remains the same, for each of the 2000 competitors who will gather on the start line at 6.30am on the 11th October 2014.
Sands Beach Active has nine ambassadors racing. Victor Del Corral, who has run consistently under 2.44 for the marathon leg of his Ironman’s this year, and proved his form on our own hot, volcanic island in September this year finishing runner up to Great Britain’s Will Clarke in Lanzarote 70.3.
Also, our ambassador Ivan Rana is a strong favourite ahead of Saturdays show down. He finished 6th last year with the second fastest run split. He won Ironman Austria earlier this year with a bike split worthy of a Kona podium.
We would also like to wish the very best of luck to all the UPLACE-BMC team athletes racing at Kona. Bart Aernouts, Sofie Goos, Axel Zeebroek, Liz Blatchford, Corinne Abraham, Romain Guillaume and Ronnie Schildknecht. We will be cheering you on this Saturday from Sands Beach Resort!
Other men to watch out for include Jan Frodeno (GER) could make history by being the first athlete to win an Olympic gold and the Ironman World Championships. At only 33 he is relatively young compared to some of his competitors but age certainly isn’t everything! Tim O’Donnell (USA) and last year’s bronze medal Sebastian Kienle (DEU) are other significant names to look out for amidst the volcanic back drop next week at Kona.
In the women’s race, Great Britain have sent in the big shots. Leanda Cave and 2012 Champion will be looking to erase 2013’s memory of 12th pro lady having had an under par year. She will race alongisde Liz Blatchford (GBR), Rachel Joyce (GBR) Jodie Swallow (GBR). Daniela Ryf (SUI) and Merredith Kessler (USA) are two more favorites with less than seven days to go.
Ultimately, predictions can be made from the sideline, but no one can predict the shape and state of the athlete’s bodies when they face the 45mph winds, 95 degree temperatures nor the secrets of their competitor’s form, when they tread the water waiting for the canon to be set off on the 11th October. It is anyone’s game to win, welcome to one of the toughest sports at its highest level.
Mens Podium 2013
Frederkik Van Lierde (BEL)
Luke Mckenzie (AUS)
Sebastian Kienle (DEU)
Womens Podium 2013
Miranda Carfrae (AUS)
Rachel Joyce (GBR)
Liz Blatchford (GBR)