303 Team’s Takeaways from Kona

By Bill Plock

The 303 team kept busy all last week in Kona bringing you news and stories, here are few highlights.

 

People wonder why we send such a group to this race and the answer is not simple, but yet it is. Kona showcases the greatest triumphs. It celebrates athletes from around the world with 2,400 stories from over 50 countries. Colorado is everywhere. From third most represented state of athletes to having many companies and industry and media professionals present. At the USAT partner party, half of the people there were from Colorado. Colorado has a big impact on Kona.

 

 

1. Colorado rocks with 38 amateur athletes competing and five of them ending up on the podium:

– Nicholas Noon 2nd
– Kelly Phuah 3rd
– Diana Hassel 3rd
– Matthew Malone 4th, this was also a 45th place finish Overall
– Simon Butterworth 4th

2. Four Colorado based pro’s ended up in the top 10:

– Tim O’Donnell 4th
– Mirinda Carfrae 5th
– Kaisa Sali 7th
– Andy Potts 8th

 

3. Records were broken

– Fastest Male race: 7:52, Patrick Lange, first time finish was under 8 hours.
– Fastest Female race: 8:26, Daniela Ryf, broke her own record by 20 minutes!
– Fastest Male swim ever: 46:30 (amateur set the record)
– Fastest Female swim ever: 48:14 (Pro Lucy Charles, 4 min faster than the next pro)
– Fastest Female Bike Split, (Pro Daniela Ryf, 4:26, 18 min faster than previous)
– Oldest finisher, 86 year old Inada Hiromu of Japan

 

 

4. Presumably, the most weight loss finisher with Marcus Cook losing about 250 pounds and carrying a life size cut-out of himself at his most weight through the finish line that brought a massive roar from the crowd.

 

 

 

 

5. More people seem interested in what Khem was eating than almost anything else based on our Facebook post of her “guess what I am eating contest”.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Colorado has great industry representation: BASE Performance, Newton, BOCO Gear, Triathlete Magazine, Rudy Project, Ceramic Speed, Stryd, Scratch, Stages, and TrainingPeaks.

 

 

7. Simon Butterworth and Bob Babbitt do look like Elvis

 

8. The Pros have fun too: Patrick Lange proposed to his girlfriend right after he crossed the finish line saying it “was the best part of day”, after winning and breaking a record. Sarah True said, “I felt like I was just riding bikes with friends,” after finishing her first Kona.

 

9. Bill Plock Sleepwalks and tries to get out of a condo in the middle of the night.

 

10. The 303 team went through six bags of gummy bears, 2 tanks of gas, shot over 500 pics, conducted 8 live podcast interviews, swam to the coffee boat a few times, was up at 4am and back home at 1am covering the race from beginning to end.

The team was graciously sponsored by:

 

 

Infinit Nutrition

Coeur Sports

Base Performance

Blue Competition Cycles

Kona: It’s More Than Just the Race

It’s generally understood that Kona, i.e. the Ironman World Championship, is different from all the other Ironman races. Often people associate this difference with both the fact that you have to qualify to earn your spot at the start line (or earn it through one of seven other ways), and that therefore the athlete field at the race represents the cream of the crop. And while all of this is certainly true, it’s just scratching the surface of why this race stands out so dramatically from just about any other race you’ve attended.

First off, because this is like the Superbowl / World Series / Stanley Cup of triathlon, the crowds are insane. And Kona is a really, really small little town normally. Just as a comparison, based on some back-of-the-napkin calculations, here’s how Kona compares to, say, IM Boulder:

KONA IM BOULDER
City Population 12,000 111,000
Number of Out-of-Town Athletes 2400 1000
Average Size of Athlete’s Entourage 4 1
Total Entourage 9600 1000
Additional Visitors: Staff, Volunteers, Industry, Media, Triathlon Royalty 3000 200
Total Athletes, Entourage, Visitors 15000 2200
Growth of City Population due to Event 125% 2%

So, as you can start to see, Kona is busting at the seams – and then some – during race week. Not to mention the fact that people start arriving 7 or even 10 days before the race, rather than the Thursday of race week. Because of that, you need to set up lodging and rental cars as early as possible. And you need to anticipate that everything is going to be busy – parking lots, restaurants, local street traffic – everything.

One thing that’s really neat about the crowds, though, is how international it all is. (I mean, it is the World Championship, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.) Athlete briefings are given in seven different languages – English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and German. And everywhere you go you hear different languages and accents. It really, truly deserves the title of a world championship event.

Beyond the crowds, there are other things that separate Kona from all other events. Every year, triathlon royalty descends on Kona to celebrate the spirit of Ironman. Legends Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and Paula Newby-Fraser and Hall of Famers Mike Reilly and Bob Babbitt are in attendance virtually every year. Plus you have roughly 100 current pro triathletes in town to compete in the race. All of them are out and about, hosting and participating in events at local restaurants, through Ironman, at vendor booths, and at the Expo. The celebrity selfie opportunities are endless!

Speaking of the Expo, this one is like no other. You’ve got the official Expo, about a quarter-mile from the pier which houses the transition area. Nearer to the pier, you’ve got the main merchandise tent and the mini-merch tent. But then, for a solid half-mile down Ali’i Drive (the beachside road that is famous for the race’s finisher’s chute), you’ve got the “unofficial” Expo: dozens and dozens of tents from every triathlon apparent, equipment, and nutrition vendor you can think of. Some go so far as to create pop-up stores right there on Ali’i drive, and many offer limited edition Kona apparel and swag specially designed to commemorate the race. Which is all to say: if you head to Kona, bring a wad of cash and an extra duffel to accommodate all the shopping you’ll inevitably do during your trip.

Finally, as if you weren’t busy enough chasing down triathlon royalty for that coveted Instagram shot and snagging as much Kona swag as you can without tipping over into overweight baggage surcharges, you’ve also got to make time for the non-stop event schedule. There are daily swims from the Pier, so popular that they require a pop-up bag check tent for several hours each morning and include a stop at the famous coffee boat, about a half-mile off-shore from the pier. There are big-ticket events like the VIP Aloha Reception and the Evening of Champions, the ever-popular Thursday morning Underpants Run, pro meet and greet’s at sponsor tents, Bob Babbitt’s daily “Breakfast with Bob” interviews, and so so so much more.

I think this is why so many make the trip to Kona as spectators, rather than as (or in different years than as) competitors. Race week in Kona is all about soaking in the best of everything the sport has to offer and hoping to pick up just enough good juju from Madame Pele as to get to come back again another year.

Quick Notes from Today’s IRONMAN Pre-Race Press Conference and Pro Panel

The 303Triathlon team attending this morning’s pre-race press briefing. Here are some snippets from the introduction by IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick and the pro panel that followed.

Highlights from Andrew Messick’s “State of IRONMAN”:

The next location for the 70.3 World Championship race was announced! Taupo, New Zealand in November of 2020.

2018 is shaping up to be IRONMAN’s best year ever, with 225,000 unique athletes participating events around the globe – up 10% from 2017.

IRONMAN’s 2018 partnership with Facebook has allowed them to create a bigger, broader broadcast platform with live coverage of many races, including 20 hours of live coverage, from 4 am to 1 am, for Saturday’s world championship race.

2019 will feature 41 full-distance IRONMAN races and 117 70.3s, with new races in Oman, Greece, Russia, and India.

Highlights from the pros:

Javier Gomez is excited to get out of his comfort zone in his first go at Kona. As for his expectations for Sunday, he said: “the race will put me in my place.”

Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell both mentioned their daughter Izzy, born just over a year ago, when discussing this year’s race. Rinny has been “pleasantly surprised” with how her season has gone after coming back after giving birth and she’s excited to see how she measures up against the new talent in the sport. Tim acknowledged that he was mentally and emotionally drained at last year’s race, which was only a few weeks after Izzy’s birth; as for this year, he said he’s not phased by pressure to be the next American to win Kona: “it’s not the result, it’s the process.”

Sebastian Kienle, who won in 2014, said he’s motivated more by his disappointing finish last year: “there is nothing more dangerous to success in the future than success in the past.”

The panel concluded with a few questions from the audience. Noah Aldrich (12) asked the first question. Noah has completed 17 triathlons in tandem with his brother, Lucas (10), who suffers from a rare neurological condition called lissencephaly, and asked the pros what advice they would give to a young triathlete who hopes to one day be a pro. Patrick Lange advised him to have “fun, fun, fun” with the sport, and said to Noah, “it’s not that we’re inspiring you, you’re inspiring us.”

More than anything, I was struck by the friendship and camaraderie evident among the pros as they entered and concluded the panel. While they are clearly fierce competitors on the course, there is obvious respect and fellowship between them as well.

IRONMAN World Championship Features 20 Hours of Live Race Day Coverage

From IRONMAN (Oct. 8, 2018) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, is excited to announce unprecedented global coverage from the Island of Hawai`i for the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon. This year as IRONMAN celebrates 40 Years of Dreams, nearly 20 hours of live coverage is scheduled and will be available through NBCSN, NBC and NBCSports.com in the United States and globally on www.facebook.com/IRONMANNow. Beginning in the early morning hours with athlete body marking, the dynamic coverage will take viewers through the male and female professional races and all the way through the event’s final finisher just after midnight.

“There is no better way to celebrate IRONMAN’s 40th Anniversary and the amazing achievements of our athletes from around the world than with coverage that takes viewers inside the action,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer for IRONMAN. “As we celebrate this important milestone in our history, we are proud to be able to work with premiere global media companies to give an unprecedented look inside the pinnacle event of endurance sports.”

Coverage for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon triathlon begins Tuesday, October 9 with daily live shows at 2 p.m. ET from the Island of Hawai`i, running through race day on www.facebook.com/IRONMANNow. The daily coverage will bring the global audience to the island with behind-the-scenes access to the athlete preparation, interviews with professional athletes, age groupers, legends of the sport as well as presentations of the legendary course and event

The IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon will be broadcast in the USA through the various platforms of NBC Sports including the live start of the race on NBCSN on Saturday, October 13 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET with live reports airing on NBCSB and NBC throughout race day and the live race coverage on NBCSports.com. A full race highlight program will air on NBCSN, Sunday, October 14 from 12:00-1:00 a.m. ET and 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.

The IRONMAN Now channel on Facebook Watch will provide 20 hours of live coverage on race day.

  • The live body marketing show will air from 10:40-11:40 a.m. ET, and will feature a fully-produced, “red carpet” event as athletes prepare for their race. Paula Newby-Fraser, 8x IRONMAN World Champion will join IRONMAN World Champion Greg Welch, 3x IRONMAN Champion Michael Lovato and IRONMAN Europe Commentator Paul Kaye to capture the tension and excitement of this unique element of our sport.
  • Live in-depth race coverage will begin at 12:10 p.m. ET. and continue through the male and female professional races.
  • Coverage will continue at 5:20am ET on Sunday, October 14, with the Finish Line Party, an inspiring celebration of the IRONMAN World Championship as the 2018 crowned champions will come back to the celebratory finish line with as spectators cheer on the final athletes as they cross the magical finish line.

Producing this year’s event is Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), a best-in-class television production company that is highly experienced in Live coverage of endurance sports events such as the Tour de France to audiences around the world. The live-action will include more cameras than ever before and aerial imagery that will put viewers into the heart of the race, showcasing the amazing beauty and grueling conditions that the island of Hawai’i is known for.

Kailua-Kona, located on the west coast of the Island of Hawai`i, offers the perfect year-round climate and is an ideal location for this iconic, single-day sporting event. The 2018 field of athletes will tackle the ROKA 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by the Ventum 112-mile bicycle ride along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi, capped with a 26.2-mile HOKA ONE ONE run beginning on Ali’i Drive, where spectators pack the roads, up Palani Road to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, before making their way to the infamous Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority. Athletes will complete their journey to the roar of tens of thousands of spectators as they cross the historic Ali’i Drive finish line.

For live tracking, real-time results and instant tracking notifications, fans can follow both professional and age-group athletes on the IRONMAN Tracker app, available for download from iTunes App Store and Google Play.

NBC will air this year’s installment of the Emmy Award Winning IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon broadcast special on Saturday, November 24, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET.

Get to Know our 2018 Team Colorado Kona Athletes

ELLEN HART

*What kind of bike do you ride? Trek Speed Concept 9.9–white with multicolored stripes.

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Qualified at Hawaii 70.3, June 2.

*How many Ironman races have you done? This will be my 13th IM.

*How many times have you raced Kona? This will be my 10th Kona IM.

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? Walking down Alii Drive both the day before the race and the day after, and taking it all in, reflecting on the magic of race day. Other, just in case that’s too connected to the race!: going to the state park beach between town of Kona and the airport (I forget the name of it).

*What is your favorite bike training route? What else? The Queen K!

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Chocolate shake with extra protein.

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? Unexpectedly, my foot has been injured since March, and hasn’t healed. So this will be a very different Kona for me this year, just doing the swim and bike. It is not the way I’d intended to wind up my Kona and IM chapter, but there will be different gifts that day. I will try to be alert to receive them!

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? Wouldn’t it be fun if Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell both won!?!

Two Team Colorado Kona Age Group Champs Returning in 2018

38 Team Colorado athletes will join approximately 2,500 others at this year’s 2018 IRONMAN World Championship race in Kona. Two Team Colorado returning Age Group champions from the 2017 race, Diana Hassel and Simon Butterworth, are highlighted in the article from IRONMAN regarding this year’s field.

From IRONMAN (Oct 5, 2018) – Approximately 2,500 of the world’s top athletes will compete in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on Saturday, October 13 at the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world — the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon. IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, will celebrate the history of IRONMAN and the seminal event that continues to inspire so many, by bringing the world’s best triathletes together in competition on the 40th Anniversary of the original IRONMAN event.

This year’s edition of the IRONMAN World Championship will yet again welcome the largest international athlete field in race history with athletes hailing from 82 countries, regions and territories. Athletes ranging in age from 18 to 85 have earned their world championship opportunity by qualifying at one of more than 40 IRONMAN events worldwide.

This year, Europe represents 46 percent of the field, while North America closely follows with 34 percent of athletes registered to race in the IRONMAN World Championship. Asia-Pacific brings eight percent of participants, with South America at seven percent.

“The evolution of this race over the past 40 years, from its modest beginnings to the iconic globally recognized phenomenon it has become, is truly extraordinary,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “From the very first race on the shores of Oahu, Hawai`i in 1978, IRONMAN has carved out a unique legacy in sports history and the pinnacle IRONMAN World Championship event showcases the best global competitors from around the world every year. We look forward to the next 40 years as our athletes continue to shape history through extraordinary feats and life-altering journeys.”

The United States of America is the most represented nation with 640 registered competitors, followed by Germany (215), Australia (208), and the United Kingdom (130). Athletes will travel from 46 U.S. states, with the greatest number coming from California (91), followed by Hawai`i (45), Texas (44), Colorado (38), and New York (35). Others from countries as far as South Africa, Brazil and Uzbekistan are traveling around the globe for their shot at a title.

This year, returning age-group champions from the 2017 IROMAN World Championship on the women’s side include Sione Jongstra (NLD), Michaela Rudolf (AUT), Diana Hassel (USA) and Missy LeStrange (USA). On the men’s side, returning age-group champions include Antoine Mechin (FRA), Guillaume Montoisy (BEL), Christophe Lemery (FRA), Rick Simpson (USA), Simon Butterworth (USA) and Fidel Rotondaro (VEN).

Racing alongside the returning age-group winners is an inspiring group of athletes that includes:

  • Jordan Bethke, a former pro triathlete and current U.S. Navy EOD Officer stationed in Hawai`i, who will be racing to support Kenton Stacy (#StacyStrong), a fellow EOD Officer critically wounded while serving in Syria
  • Rachel Brenke, a cancer survivor, mother of five, lawyer, and entrepreneur shows her commitment to sport and ability to balance what life can bring while achieving her goals
  • Leigh Chivers, who after suffering personal tragedies with the loss of both his wife Sara and 18-month-old son Alfie to brain cancer, will be looking to honor them while completing one of his wife’s dying wishes, to compete at the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Marcus Cook, in only a year and a half, Marcus dropped from 489lbs down to 233lbs. Following the death of close friend, Marcus decided to make huge lifestyle changes and now attribute his success to triathlon and will race for the IRONMAN Foundation after raising over $100,000 on his way to preparing for Kona.
  • Isabella del la Houssaye, is a mother of five, suffering from stage 4 lung cancer and has completed 15 IRONMAN events and 100 total marathons including one in each of 49 states. Isabella will race for the IRONMAN Foundation with the support of Ventum, and on race day, with the completion of the run portion of the IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon triathlon, Isabella will check the box for completing a marathon in all 50 states.
  • Elle Goodall, who dropped over 250lbs (115 kg) in a stunning lifestyle change that has taken her from fast food addict to the start line of this historic event
  • Bob Jordan, a father who was gifted an entry to the 1997 IRONMAN World Championship after his five-year-old daughter suffering from leukemia wrote letter to IRONMAN. 20 years later Bob qualified at IRONMAN Maryland and will race in her memory this year in Kona.
  • Kyle and Brent Pease, a dynamic team of brothers, Brent competing with his and younger brother Kyle, who has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, will look to raise awareness for, motivate and enable athletes with disabilities in the brothers first trip to the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Sarah Reinertsen, the first above-the-knee amputee to finish the IRONMAN World Championship (in 2005) and a gold medal winning para-triathlete returns to Kona to celebrate her place in history and IRONMAN’s “40 Years of Dreams.”

Have Your Eyes on Racing Kona? Here Are Eight Ways To Get There …

Have you always dreamed of toeing the start line at the IM World Championship in Kona? You may not realize that there are a range of ways to get there beyond being super fast. Here are eight ways to get to Kona:

1. Age Group Qualification
Every full-distance IRONMAN event offers a minimum of one qualifying spot per age group for the world championship. The number of qualifying slots in each age category is dependent on the number of competitors in each group. Finish at or near the top of the podium, or get lucky with a roll-down spot, and punch your ticket to Kona. Be sure to bring a credit card to the Roll-Down, as you’ve got to pay your entry fee on the spot.

2. Military Qualification
There are two Ironman 70.3 military qualification races that have allocated spots to the IRONMAN World Championships. Military members participating in a qualification event will be eligible for an Kona slot, allocated on a basis similar to age group qualification.

Full info found here.

3. IRONMAN Legacy Program
The IRONMAN Legacy Program was introduced in 2012 as a way to recognize and reward the most dedicated repeat athletes. Through the IRONMAN Legacy Program, athletes who have completed a 12 full-distance IRONMAN-branded races and have never competed at the IRONMAN World Championship have an opportunity to be selected for a special slot to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship.

Legacy requirements include:
– Athlete must have completed a minimum of 12 full-distance IRONMAN-branded* races (includes existing and past events) by December 31st of the current year.
- Athlete has never participated in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.
– Athlete must have completed at least one full-distance IRONMAN event in two consecutive years prior to World Championship.
– Athlete must be registered for a full-distance IRONMAN event in current year.
*2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

There are currently 100 legacy spots per year.

Full info found here.
Read about 2018 Team Colorado Legacy athletes Rich Kiser and John Van Soest.

4. Physically Challenged/Open Exhibition Drawing

The IRONMAN World Championship Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division is available to athletes with a medically verified physical, visual, or neurological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Athletes who are drawn will need to validate their entry by completing at any time between October 14, 2017 and August 19, 2018, a triathlon consisting of, at a minimum, and on a single day, a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run. The validating race must have been completed as an individual participant and not as part of a relay team.

Full info found here.
Read about 2018 Team Colorado Physically Challenged athlete Jeffrey Lampe.

5. IRONMAN Foundation Fundraising
The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. The IRONMAN Foundation awards a Kona bib to their top fundraiser each year, as well as other select slots including one for Women for Tri.

Full info found here.
Read about 2018 Team Colorado Women for Tri athlete Triny Willerton.

6. IRONMAN Foundation Lottery
10 Kona slots are lotteried through the annual IRONMAN Foundation Kona Drawing. Lottery entries have a suggested donation of $50. Donations benefit the IRONMAN Foundation’s charitable giveback in our race communities around the world and are 100% tax deductible.

Full info found here.

7. IRONMAN Foundation Auction
5 Kona slots are auctioned on eBay. The auctions run for 7 days and the proceeds of the auction benefit the Ironman Foundation. In 2018 one of the spot’s proceeds went to Women for Tri.

The IRONMAN World Championship Annual Kona Auction Winner(s) receive:
– Race bib to compete at The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua, Kona
– Private athlete registration in Kona
– Four VIP packages
– Invitations to exclusive race-week functions

The auctions have raised over $2M dollars for the Ironman Foundation. Minimum bid is $10,000

Full info found here.

7. IRONMAN Executive Challenge, a.k.a IRONMAN XC
This is a member’s only program and provides guaranteed entry to IRONMAN events, the opportunity to compete for IRONMAN World Championship slots, VIP passes, first-class accommodations and much more. Participants are required to have qualified for their spot at the IRONMAN World Championships at an Ironman Executive Challenge event.

Full info found here.
Learn more about 2018 Team Colorado Executive Challenge athlete Paul Dauber.

8. Outside Charity Spots
In a sport that lends itself to a laser-like focus on individual performance, the IRONMAN Charity Partner program helps athletes widen the spotlight by illuminating worthy causes. Giving athletes a purpose beyond their own accomplishment, the program aims to inspire IRONMAN athletes to fundraise for selected charity partners as a way to add meaning to their training and racing.

Full info found here.
Read about 2018 Team Colorado Team In Training athlete Brett Kessler.

Profession Triathlete Field Set for the 2018 Ironman World Championship

From IRONMAN (October 2, 2018) – Triathlon’s top professional talent will assemble at the start line in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i for the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon, taking place on October 13. The most iconic one-day endurance event in the world will bring together a highly regarded and competitive professional field, headlined by defending champions Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE).

“This is a monumental year for IRONMAN as we celebrate four decades of racing at the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawai`i,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “We look forward not only to honoring the historic professional performances from years past, but also showcasing the ever-growing international triathlete talent that will be on full display.”

The women’s professional field will seek to dethrone three-time IRONMAN World Champion Daniela Ryf (CHE), who continues to add to her impressive resume. In addition to earning her fourth IRONMAN®70.3® World Champion title this past September in South Africa, Ryf also came away with victories at the Mainova IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt and Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia in Poland.

Up for the challenge will be a host of strong contenders, including last year’s other podium finishers Lucy Charles (GBR) and Sarah Crowley (AUS), as well as the highly anticipated return of three-time IRONMAN World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae (AUS). Charles, who finished second a year ago, is coming off two impressive showings in Africa with a win in April’s Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship and a second-place finish at the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in September. Crowley will be looking to improve upon her third-place finish from a year ago and is in good form following a win at the 2018 IRONMAN Hamburg triathlon and a third-place finish at the 2018 Mainova IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt. Carfrae rejoins the ranks of the elite in Kona after spending a year away for the birth of her daughter. With wins this year at IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa and IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta combined with a strong second-place showing at the 2018 Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, Carfrae has been at full force on her comeback trail.

The women’s field only just begins there, as other seasoned and decorated competitors join this elite group. Heather Jackson (USA) is a ten-time IRONMAN 70.3 Champion and multi-time Top 5 finisher at the IRONMAN World Championship, while Kaisa Sali (FIN) finished fifth in last year’s IRONMAN World Championship and earned first-place finishes at the 2018 IRONMAN Switzerland and 2018 Mazda IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey triathlons. Susie Cheetham (GBR) finished second at the 2018 Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship, just minutes after fellow British racer Lucy Charles, and joins newcomer Teresa Adam (NZL), who earned a victory at the 2018 Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, as others to watch.

Below is the pro women’s start list for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon:

BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP
F1 Ryf Daniela CHE (Switzerland
F2 Charles Lucy GBR (United Kingdom)
F3 Crowley Sarah AUS (Australia)
F4 Sali Kaisa FIN (Finland)
F5 Cheetham Susie GBR (United Kingdom)
F7 Jackson Heather USA (United States of America)
F8 Jahn Kirsty CAN (Canada)
F9 True Sarah USA (United States of America)
F11 Carfrae Mirinda AUS (Australia)
F12 Hufe Mareen DEU (Germany)
F14 Lester Carrie AUS (Australia)
F15 Siddall Laura GBR (United Kingdom)
F16 McCauley Jocelyn USA (United States of America)
F17 Piampiano Sarah USA (United States of America)
F18 Corbin Linsey USA (United States of America)
F19 Adam Teresa NZL (New Zealand)
F20 Vesterby Michelle DNK (Denmark)
F21 Blatchford Liz AUS (Australia)
F22 Smith Lesley USA (United States of America)
F23 Genet Manon FRA (France)
F24 Robertson Jodie USA (United States of America)
F25 Abraham Corinne GBR (United Kingdom)
F26 McBride Rachel CAN (Canada)
F27 Pallant Emma GBR (United Kingdom)
F28 Frades Gurutze ESP (Spain)
F29 Frederiksen Helle DNK (Denmark)
F30 Huetthaler Lisa AUT (Austria)
F31 Stage Nielsen Maja DNK (Denmark)
F32 Annett Jen CAN (Canada)
F33 Deckers Tine BEL (Belgium)
F34 Kessler Meredith USA (United States of America)
F35 Haug Anne DEU (Germany)
F36 Brandon Lauren USA (United States of America)
F37 Burke Melanie NZL (New Zealand)
F38 Lundstrom Asa SWE (Sweden)
F39 McKenzie Beth USA (United States of America)
F40 Konschak Katja DEU (Germany)
F41 Svensk Sara SWE (Sweden)
F42 Angela Naeth USA (United States of America

The men’s group is equally stacked with titleholders and contenders, including last year’s IRONMAN World Champion, Patrick Lange (DEU). Lange will seek his second win in Kona, where he holds a course-best time of 8:01:40 from his win in 2017, as well as the marathon run-course best time of 2:39:45, set in 2016 when he finished third. Also competing for the title is Lionel Sanders (CAN), who led the race last year through mile 23 of the marathon before giving way to Lange and ultimately earning second. Sebastian Kienle (DEU), the 2014 IRONMAN World Champion, placed fourth in the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship and will be looking for another title after just missing the podium last year. Meanwhile last year’s third-place finisher David McNamee (GBR) looks to follow the trajectory of Lange, moving from a third-place finish to becoming a world champion the following year.

Adding to the competition will be James Cunnama (ZAF), who placed fifth at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship and Javier Gomez Noya (ESP), an Olympic silver medalist and two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion. Fans will also be keeping an eye on Tim Don (GBR), who was unable to race last year after a pre-race accident left him with a broken neck just days before the event. After a grueling road to recovery, Don has made a remarkable comeback, placing first at the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica triathlon, only eight months after the accident. Americans Andy Potts and Ben Hoffman look to rejoin the Top 5 after both finished in the Top 10 in 2018.

Below is the pro men’s start list for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon:

BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP
M1 Lange Patrick DEU (Germany)
M2 Sanders Lionel CAN (Canada)
M3 Kienle Sebastian DEU (Germany)
M5 McNamee David GBR (United Kingdom)
M6 Cunnama James ZAF (South Africa)
M7 Gomez Noya Javier ESP (Spain)
M8 Nilsson Patrik SWE (Sweden)
M9 Amberger Josh AUS (Australia)
M10 Currie Braden NZL (New Zealand)
M11 Van Lierde Frederik BEL (Belgium)
M12 Tutukin Ivan RUS (Russian Federation)
M14 Potts Andy USA (United States of America)
M15 Buckingham Kyle ZAF (South Africa)
M16 Aernouts Bart BEL (Belgium)
M17 McMahon Brent CAN (Canada)
M18 Rana Ivan ESP (Spain)
M19 Wurf Cameron AUS (Australia)
M20 Van Berkel Tim AUS (Australia)
M21 Weiss Michael AUT (Austria)
M22 Amorelli Igor BRA (Brazil)
M23 Hanson Matt USA (United States of America)
M24 Skipper Joe GBR (United Kingdom)
M25 Clavel Maurice DEU (Germany)
M26 Van Berkel Jan CHE (Switzerland)
M27 Costes Antony FRA (France)
M28 Koutny Philipp CHE (Switzerland)
M29 Stein Boris DEU (Germany)
M30 Starykowicz Andrew USA (United States of America)
M31 McKenzie Luke AUS (Australia)
M32 Butterfield Tyler BMU (Bermuda)
M33 Clarke Will GBR (United Kingdom)
M34 Hoffman Ben USA (United States of America)
M35 Collington Kevin USA (United States of America)
M36 Duelsen Marc DEU (Germany)
M37 Petersen-Bach Jens DNK (Denmark)
M38 Viennot Cyril FRA (France)
M39 Phillips Mike NZL (New Zealand)
M40 Degasperi Alessandro ITA (Italy)
M41 Wild Ruedi CHE (Switzerland)
M42 Dreitz Andreas DEU (Germany)
M43 O’Donnell Tim USA (United States of America)
M44 Brown Cameron NZL (New Zealand)
M45 Guillaume Romain FRA (France)
M46 Chevrot Denis FRA (France)
M47 Vinhal Thiago BRA (Brazil)
M48 Plese David SVN (Slovenia)
M49 Chrabot Matt USA (United States of America)
M50 Molinari Giulio ITA (Italy)
M51 Reed Tim AUS (Australia)
M52 Schildknecht Ronnie CHE (Switzerland)
M53 Millward Callum NZL (New Zealand)
M54 Cochrane Simon NZL (New Zealand)
M56 Baldwin Nick SYC (Seychelles)
M57 Don Tim GBR (United Kingdom)
M58 Russell Matt USA (United States of America)

The 2018 IRONMAN World Championship will offer a $650,000 total professional prize purse which will be distributed to male and female first- through tenth-place finishers.

Get to Know our 2018 Team Colorado Kona Athletes

MATT CHRABOT (PRO)

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? I won IM Mar del Plata in Argentina last December

*How many Ironman races have you done? 6

*How many times have you raced Kona? This will be #2

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about?

*What is your favorite bike training route? Hill reps on Flagstaff Road in Boulder

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Ice cold beer.

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? I didn’t expect PPR Team, an Italian Triathlon Team to reach out and ask me to represent them in 2018

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? Me.

TRINY WILLERTON

*What kind of bike do you ride? Argon18

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? I was granted a slot by the Ironman Foundation and Women for Tri

*How many Ironman races have you done? 7

*How many times have you raced Kona? 0

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? We are attending several events hosted by the Ironman Foundation including a an event on Monday to give back to the community.

*What is your favorite bike training route? It has changed since my accident I know enjoy going up left hand canyon a lot.

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? I love ice cream

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? I got hit by a truck on May 8th. It has been an incredible journey of support from the community and self discovery.

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? Tim Don and Miranda Carfrae

Get to Know Our 2018 Team Colorado Kona Athletes

RICK KISER

*What kind of bike do you ride? I ride a red kestrel talon

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? I qualified through legacy. My 12 race was Cozumel 2015.

*How many Ironman races have you done? I have done 15 Ironman races (2 iron distance but non ironman brand so total of the distance 17).

*How many times have you raced Kona? I have never raced Kona previously.

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? My favorite non-race activity is scuba diving.

*What is your favorite bike training route? The majority of my bike training has been on my trainer, much safer than being on the roads ! no crazy drivers swerving at me, yelling at me or throwing things at me.

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Favorite post race treat is a beer and a burger. Then cheesecake !

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? The unexpected occurrence is it taking so long to finally get here !

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? I think Frodeno, Jan for men and Ryf, Daniela for the women.

ROB LADEWIG

*What kind of bike do you ride? I will be on a FELT (mostly black) tri bike

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? I got this years slot at IM Boulder in June

*How many Ironman races have you done? This years Kona will be my 39 full IM

*How many times have you raced Kona? This year will make my 10th trip to compete in the World Championships

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? While not racing I like to head up to Volcano National Park and catch the lava flows

*What is your favorite bike training route? I ride on the Air Force Academy down here in the Springs because it is safe and somewhat bike friendly.

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? A one minute, seventeen second win at Boulder. Very close race, with a come from behind win at mile 17 on the marathon.

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year?  I am not sure who will win either race but I sure hope Andy Potts has a great race.

**Featured in 2016 IM Boulder Athlete Video

SARAH PELTIER

*What kind of bike do you ride? Dimond

*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Chattanooga

*How many Ironman races have you done? 10 if you count the one I DNF’d on the run due to my heel breaking at mile 3.

*How many times have you raced Kona? Once before

*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island? So many things to choose from! It’s a three way tie between the Kanaloa Octopus Farm, Da Poke Shack, and Volcanoes National Park.

*What is your favorite bike training route? St Vrain canyon up from Lyons, stop off for a chat @ the Raymond General Store, then P2P to Ward and back down.

*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Fritos & rice pudding. So weird I know.

*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? This spring I had a last minute opportunity to race in a team sponsored by Strava in The Speed Project – a 340 mile running relay from LA to Las Vegas. Some parts of that race were more mentally challenging than Ironman!

*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? Rooting for Rinny and True but have to go with Ryf. And with Frodo out I’m going with Lange.