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Kona is HOT!

Monday, 19 November 2012 00:38 |
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Well duh!  But when the sun shines on your while exercising, it is an entirely different stress!  Secondly, I have to say this... every athlete present in Kona was elite. Elite age groupers sporting less than minimum body fat and just ripped! What a spectacle of amazing athletes.

Excitingly our CSR athletes had fantastic performances. The consensus among athletes who did IMKona for the past 6-10 year agreed that this year was one of the worst. The winds on the bike were horrific. Even some of the best cyclist were traveling at 27-28km/hr back towards the airport and T2.  Those who were born to ride prevailed on this day!

 Sheila Croft: The reining world 35-39 World Champion, Sheila felt a little pressure leading up to the race. The WTC wanted her to stand out with a "Yellow Reining Champion Polo Shirt" and recognition at the Carbo Loading Event. Both Sheila and I were interview on the Ironman Pod Cast, which was fun. But it all added to the stress of defending.  One of the hardest tasks in sport is to defend or repeat at a World Champion (even harder at an Olympic Games). 

Sheila was strong for this event. Countless hours and lots of personal sacrifices  to push her training to a professional level.  Dreams of a top Amateur title was also a goal.  My fear for Sheila (this would also be my fear if I was racing Kona), was fierce winds out on the Queen K on the bike. 

These winds forced everyone to ride harder than planned and those athletes who were gifted with more cycling strength prevailed. The runners of the race were somewhat controlled and their marathon performances were dampened (although this was not the case with overall Male Pro Champion Pete Jacobs).

Sheila had a great swim, the same time as last year but the swells and current were much more challenging this year. This was an improvement from last year. Her bike was also stronger than last year but again the splits did not reflect this improved fitness and maturity. Last year she ran a 3:06 marathon off the bike and this year she still had the fastest overall female amateur run at 3:14.  Being out there and seeing her fight hard for most of the marathon was a privilege.

Myron Tetreault:  Myron started right at the front of the entire 1600 person AG wave (fighting to maintain his perfect position)!  He rocked the swim coming out in the top 4 in his age group and proceed to stay up in the top 10 for most of the entire bike. He road like a man with a mission. The Ironman Texas 45-49 AG Champion and Alberta Triathlon Masters Triathlete of the Year,  was there to compete and represent Canada! 

His goal of a sub 10 hour race was on track pretty much until 6 miles to go on the marathon. After climbing out of the energy lab, he ingested a gel which wanted nothing to do with his tummy. Up it came right in front of his coach ...  however after a quick chat and a little walking, Myron was off running again and did not stop will the finish line! Impressive performance at his first World Ironman Championships!

Beverly Watson: Despite her ankle issues in preparation for this years race, Bev rocked it. Despite she actually had the flu leading up tot he race, she rocked it!  She was in 8th place for most of the day and ended up placing 10th. She is in the final year of her age group and is totally looking forward to being on the podium and possibly breaking the new age category course record in Kona!  She is motivated to be the World's best next year.  This was Bevs Third Kona finish.  

Suzanne Boyd: Considering she had to scramble to find a bike to replace her stolen Felt, set it up properly and stay positive she did very well. After the race her hamstring was tender indicating that her saddle was still a little high, but road strong!  She was chipping along in 14-16 place all day despite losing some time in T1 and T2 due to some silliness. I was able to help her with the last 6 miles on the run and we thought for sure she would post a sub 11 hour clocking ...  just missed it.  But still a solid performance with much heart! She was top 6 female Canadian Amateur.  This was also Suzanne's third Ironman Kona finish.

Well done to all these athletes!  Special thanks to Myron, Kelly, Jason Ahlan, Dustin and Catherine along with the entire TriIt crew. 

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Calvin Zaryski

CoachCal has been coaching for over 30 years. Not just focusing on athletes, but on individuals whose goals range from climbing Mount Everest to recapturing the power of active living.

Website: criticalspeed.com

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