Eneko Llanos, at the finish line at Ironman Hawaii.

Eneko Llanos, en el Ironman de Hawaii.

Once again, it was shown that Ironman Hawaii is a race that does not allow the slightest weakness, and in which any mistake, doubt or problem is magnified to the point that World class triathletes disappear in the depths of the final standings. As in the Tour de France or the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, this race brings together the best at the peak of their form. The start line at the Kona Pier gathers all those that count in the world of long distance triathlon. To this highest possible level of participation we must add a demanding course and extreme environmental conditions, as heat and humidity are guaranteed and winds can wreak havoc when they blow.

Under these premises, it is hardly surprising that a number of athletes that supposedly have a shot at victory end up yielding to evidence. Chrissie Wellington, the British triatlete who won the 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions knows this race well, and in view of the health issues that affected her for two days before the event and prevented her from being at her best, decided not to start. The male winner of the past two years, Australian Craig Alexander, paid dearly his below average performance on the bike segment, and despite his fantastic 2:41:59 marathon time, he finished the race in 4th position, as he was unable to chase down Chris McCormack, Andreas Raelert and Marino Vanhoenacker, all of whom had an extraordinary race. Eneko Llanos seemed to have winning options in view of his 2nd spot in 2008 and his great 2010 season, but he also failed in the bike segment and had to settle for 7th place, a result that would be the envy of the great majority of triathletes in the world, but that does not satisfy us.

Previous winners in Kona like German triathletes Faris Al Sultan (10th), Norman Stadler (33rd) and Thomas Hellriegel (53rd), or great champions including Cameron Brown (17th) and Terenzo Bozzone (20th) from New Zealand, Rutger Beke (49º) and Bert Jammaer (54º) from Belgium, or Luke Bell (51º) from Australia can also attest that Ironman Hawaii is an unforgiving race.

Share this post


Related posts