Monday, October 15, 2012

Ironman Triathlon World Championships 2012

The Ironman triathlon World Championships ended a few hours ago. Held in Kona, Hawaii this race began in 1977 on the Big Island before moving to its present location. About 2,000 athletes competed in almost all categories from the young to aged, and physically-abled to physically-challenged - but with one major goal on their mind - to complete the 226K triathlon within 17 hours. 
The salient feature of these year's edition were determining the new Ironman king and queen of Kona. Four-time 'Queen' Chrissie Wellington appeared as a spectator to cheer her boyfriend Tom Lowe on. She was also interviewed by Greg 'Welchie' Welch on 'Ironman Live'. Crowie was dethroned after putting up a splendid lead in the 180K ride leg. He placed outside of the money after he was overtaken by a tough pack, the sidewinds of Kona, and the hot lava fields. 30-year-old, Australian Pete Jacobs (who was runner-up in 2011), finally, earned his place in Ironman history for winning today's race. He was 'high-fiving' the spectators on as he held on to his wide lead, in the last 2 miles of the marathon. 
The female professionals were flagged off five minutes after the male professionals - a new change in rules. The Legacy Lottery opened doors for those everyday triathletes who may not contend with a podium qualifier, to earn an opportunity to race in Kona. The new M-Dot/Ironman Corporation criteria is opened to triathletes who have completed at least 12 M-Dot sanctioned full Ironman-distance races.
Leanda Cave of the UK, deservedly fought off the leading two female professional triathletes to become the  Queen of Kona. Former, multiple-Queen of Kona, Natascha Badmann (46-years-young) placed 6th with a strong finishing time. 

Lots of drama, inspirational stories, and Clifford Lee (first Singaporean to win a slot in the Legacy Lottery) completed his 14th Ironman in 'Gangnam Style'. 

70.3 Ironman World Championship finisher, Tomoya Tsuruta (Singapore-based Japanese) completed his first Ironman in a very good time. Congratulations to all finishers in Kona!

Six, over-80, veterans were featured in the oldest category with three of them completing the tough race. Certainly very inspirational and amazing efforts by these fit athletes.

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