There is no better time to get psyched up for the next season and some solid winter training than coming off a rest period just at the time the World's are going on in Kona. At the moment the whole Ironman world is just on overload and everyone you look there is more stuff from the going-ons in Kona.
Check out some photos from Slowtwitch http://www.slowtwitch.com/photos/Detailed/160.html
For those of us who are not on the Big Island and haven't ever made the trip, it is a great time to really think about training and the sacrifices that need to be made in order to be part of the show next year. This whole week I have been looking at the big picture of my annual training plan so that when it really matters for the "A" races on the year when the Kona slots are on the line, I will be confident on racing to my the best of my abilities. It certainly does focus the mind!
Aside from looking at my own plans for next year it is also cool to follow either friends or local racers that are out in Kona for the race. A few guys that I battle with throughout the year are out there and it's great to see and hear their experiences (through the wonderful world of social networking).....one of the guys wife is also racing and unfortunately she was hit by a car on Tuesday which recked her bike! Quintana Roo stepped up and provided her with a brand new bike for the race, how cool is that?
Not that many people probably care but the mens race this year should be a doozy! Although Craig Alexander(Crowie) is the two-time defending champion I wouldn't say that he is the clear favorite. Andreas Raelart who was 3rd last year is going to contend and with another year's experience behind him can pull off just as strong a marathon as Crowie, Lieto will put down a killer bike as always but I think Luxembourger Dirk Bockel is the dark horse......mark my words!
The womens race is a bit more cut and dried with three time champion Chrissie Wellington (did I mention beat her at the Columbia Triathlon in 2009?) the clear favorite but Carfrae and Dibens should push her closer this year and will be ready to pounce if the opportunity arrives.
If you want to follow, ironman.com has live coverage all day long :-)