October 8, 2012

Ironman Hawaii top 20 predictions

Since the Ironman World Championships is akin to the Superbowl of triathlon, please implore me while I imbibe in a little armchair quaterbacking and assemble my fantasy Kona draft team for a minute.  In this post, I'll be giving my predictions on who I think the top ten might turn out to be, why my opinions are as they are and a few other insights.

Over the years, I've tried to get someone I know to assemble a Ironman Hawaii betting pool, much like the NCAA brackets that come around every March, or the Last Man Standing or Superbowl pools that plague the fall season.  I've "given my money away" to folks in my office as I purchased the brackets and had ABSOLUTELY no idea on basketball or didn't really follow football close enough to know anything about the teams. 
I've always dreamed of assembling a Kona draft where the rules would be as follows.  You would have to pick your choice for:

1.  Top 5 in the mens race
2.  Top 5 in the womens race
3.  First out of the water (male and female)
4.  First off the bike (m/f)
5.  Fastest marathon split (m/f)
6.  Fastest bike split (m/f)
7.  Top American across the line (m/f)

I haven't worked out all the details (like maybe the tiebreaker would be who was closest to the mens overall time down to the second) but if you know of a pool or contest or anything that involves Kona picks, let me know!
But, back to the matter at hand: I'm no fortune teller and I'm probably gonna be dead wrong, but I wanted to give my choices for the top few men at Kona this year.  There are some obvious and some not so obvious ones on this list, but I'm thinking it's going to be a battle royale as always.  I'd personally like to see an all-Aussie sweep of the podium.  Without further adieu, I present my top 20 picks for the Ironman World Championships on Saturday. 
  1. Chris McCormack
  2. Andreas Raelert
  3. Craig Alexander
  4. Pete Jacobs (fastest marathon)
  5. Dirk Bockel (fastest bike split)
  6. Timo Bracht
  7. Paul Amey
  8. Josef Major
  9. Jordan Rapp (First American)
  10. Luke McKenzie
  11. Andy Potts (first out of the water)
  12. Eneko Llanos (WC - double winner)
  13. Faris Al Sultan
  14. Victor Zyemstev (fastest athlete without sunglasses)
  15. Marino Vanhoenacker
  16. Petr Vabrousek
  17. Cameron Brown
  18. Michael Lovato
  19. Sebastian Keinle
  20. Luke Bell
There you have it.  Those are my picks for the top twenty this year.  I have my reasons, but it's loosely based on this years results and past performances at the World Championships.  As a triathlon dork, Kim and I are throwing a Kona viewing party and will be watching to see how everyone does on Saturday and also having other computers around to check to see how our friends are faring on hallowed ground. 

I'll be wishing I were right along side you all and hoping and training for a return trip someday.  Safe travels and to all the friends there, send pics and keep posting on Facebook so we can live vicariously thru you guys for a few more days!!! Cheers and I hope you have Kona beers after the race (Quinn's - Almost by the Sea is a GREAT restaurant to to hit up with your finishers lei on!  (right by the King K hotel)  Cheers.

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